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Latin American Studies Programme

Latin American Studies Programme

Evolution of the Programme

Although Latin American Studies as a full-fledged programme was introduced in 1971 in the School of International Studies (SIS), academic interest in the area and preparatory work towards this end began as far back as 1955 when the Department of American History and Institutions was established. Intended to stimulate interest in the North American affairs, in time, the study of 'special' historic relations that the US had with its neighbouring countries inevitably prompted some forward-looking faculty members of the Department to underline the special need for training in Latin American Studies too and emphasise the favourable expertise that the Department enjoyed to provide such training.

Under the Fulbright Exchange Programme of Scholars, eminent Latin American historian, late Harold E. Davis from the American University, Washington, D.C was invited to offer courses and seminars for one academic year during 1965-66. At the same time useful discussions were held with the visiting scholars with a view to organising eventually a modest programme of Latin American Studies.

In the year 1966, with the appointment of lecturer in Latin American Studies, a small programme consisting of two courses--A Survey of Latin American History; and Government and Politics of Major Latin American Countries was offered to students in the Department of American History and Institutions.

The historical fact that South American countries shared in many respects the socio-economic and colonial experiences of India, and amongst them some continental-sized countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Mexico experiencing parallel processes in economic development and international outlook led the School to initiate efforts to focus attention on major South American countries than on the region as a whole. With the active cooperation of two Brazilian scholars, efforts were made to promote studies on Brazil focusing attention especially on contemporary political and economic developments as well as on the foreign policy of Brazil.

The special interest of the research scholars admitted to the programme so far has been in areas such as:

Economic integration processes in Latin America importantly Mercosur and NAFTA; structural adjustment programmes; external debt: its management and consequences; structural adjustment and the changing 'capacity' of state in Latin America; role, direction, and sectoral distribution of foreign investments; operations of multinational corporations; trade relations of select Latin American countries; Latin America and the WTO; G 20.

Potential and prospects of Indo-Latin American trade and economic cooperation; Foreign policy initiatives and trends in select major Latin American countries; commonality of interest and perception between Latin America and India on developments in international economy and trade; and potential and prospects of Indo-Latin American cooperation in select areas such as science and technology, trade-related issues etc.

Nuclear energy programmes and non-proliferation; regional security; Latin American and the UN.

Challenges and dilemmas of transition and consolidation of electoral democracy; democratic institution-building; electoral process; civil society; grass-roots movements including the role of NGOs and INGOs; political parties and movements.


Objectives of the Programme

One of the principal objectives of the Latin American Studies programme is to develop eventually an independent Indian/Third World perspective on political, economic and foreign policy aspects of contemporary Latin America. Accordingly, the programme emphasises in particular those aspects/issues which have relevance for India's own developmental and democratic experiences. Issues/themes which are of interest to scholars and policy planners in Latin American countries are discussed at length in weekly seminars of the programme before identifying and working out themes/areas of research interest. The themes identified above are broad; depending upon the availability of the source material and relevance of the subject, suitable themes are worked out for study and research.

Future plans of the Latin American Studies programme of the School also include collaborative study and research with research institutions/ universities in India and in Latin American-Caribbean countries involving comparative study in areas of mutual interests that would cover major Latin American countries, India and possibly select countries of Asia and Africa.


List of MA Course


Sl. No. Course Code Course Title Semester Credits Name of Faculty
1. IA 507 Political Economy of Latin America Monsoon (Third) 4 Dr. Aprajita Kashyap
2. IS 574N Foreign Policies of Major Latin American Countries Winter (Fourth) 4 Prof. Priti Singh


List of PhD Course

Sl. No. Course Code Course Title Semester Credits Name of Faculty
1. AW 604N Government & Politics in Latin America Monsoon 2 Dr. Aprajita Kashyap
2. AW 606N A Survey of Latin American History Monsoon 2 Prof. Priti Singh
3. AW 646N The Process of Political and Economic Restructuring in Latin America Winter 2 Dr. Aprajita Kashyap
4. AW 659 Brazil in Global Affairs Monsoon 2 Dr. Anshu Joshi
5. AW 658 Contemporary Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean Winter 2 Prof. Priti Singh and Dr. Aprajita Kashyap


A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.