Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    History, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course name: Costa Rican Tradition: Peace and Democracy
    Course Code: POL 3100 ? (also counts as HUM 3513)
    Total contact hours: 48 hours

    A general survey of the complex social and political heritage of Costa Rican society, examined through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary view focusing on the historical development and present day dynamics of economy, society, polity, natural resources and culture. Special attention will be given to present day issues of peace, democracy, environment, economic and political trends, population, and the emergence of old and new paradigms and ideological movements. Emphasis will be placed upon different topics during the course, according to students interests and current events emerging in Costa Rican society.

    ? Establish a framework for the analysis of Costa Rican culture and traditions, which may allow for comparisons with that of other societies.
    ? Emphasize the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to the understanding of the culture of present day societies, with emphasis on Costa Rica
    ? Discuss present day issues being faced by Costa Rican society, obtaining a framework for understanding the identity and values of Costa Rican citizens.
    ? Define and discuss the heritage and social evolution of Costa Rica, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview.

    The following topics will be critically analyzed in terms of their contribution to the molding of Costa Rican society and its identity and values, and to the understanding of the countries attitude towards peace and democracy:
    I. Concepts of peace and democracy
    ? International and national approaches to peace and democracy
    ? The role of culture and values in society
    ? The development of societal cultures and values
    II. The development of Democracy in Costa Rica
    ? Timelines and events
    ? Critical events of 1948
    III. Evolution of peace and democracy on modern day Costa Rica
    ? History
    ? Culture & values
    ? Population
    ? Economics
    ? Social and political organization
    ? Present day issues and trends
    IV. Peace and democracy in the Latin American region: A comparative view

    This is expected to be a very active class, conducted in the manner of a seminar, which will provide in depth discussion of important aspects of Costa Rican culture and way of being. Students are expected to participate extensively, drawing from class lectures, readings and their on-going experiences in Costa Rica, either in discussions and at times presenting their findings on specific issues that have been assigned. Participants will be asked to present at least three papers in written form, and orally to the class and leading discussions, on topics of interest, using mostly internet sources. It is expected that there will be some half day field trips around the city of San Jose, to view first hand illustrations of topics discussed in class. This will be arranged as the term progresses.

    Class projects (3) 60% (20% each)
    Final exam 30%
    Mid-term quiz 10%

    This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.

    Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. An unjustified absence to a fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the course. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.

    Electronic devices:
    The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please
    turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

    Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
    1) be disruptive in the classroom
    2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
    3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
    If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

    Ivan Molina and Stephen Palmer. History of Costa Rica, 2nd edition. San Jose: University of Costa Rica Press. 2009.
    Larry Samovar, Richard Porter & Edwin McDaniel. Comunication Between Cultures, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. Thomson: Wadsworth. 2007.
    Myron Lustig. The Deep Structure of Culture. New York: Longman. 1999.
    Leonard Bird, Costa Rica: The Unarmed Democracy. London: Sheppard Press.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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