Development Studies and Economic Analysis

Specialization Coordinators: Tim, and Pilar 

The Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS) specialization in Development Studies and Economic Analysis is a multi- and inter-disciplinary plan of study focusing on theories and analyses of economic, political, social and sustainable development; economic and development policy; and associated issues. Goals of the specialization include: (1) Understand the evolution of thinking about development from the nineteenth century to the current period (2) Explore contending positions in policy debates as well as of alternative development strategies, programs, and projects (3) Assess challenges and outcomes of various economic and development initiatives (4) Critically investigate underlying assumptions and their implications for human rights, social equity, and sustainability. Students may emphasize particular goals to meet their interests.

Purpose of specializations in Latin American Studies
  • To help graduate students and advisors to navigate the vast and constantly shifting curricular landscape supporting Latin American Studies at UF.
  • To foster connection and collaboration around shared interests among current and prospective UF faculty and students.


12 credits total, including courses from at least two academic programs.

Core Courses: select 6-12 credits

  • LAS 6943 Development Theory and Practice
  • GEO 6938 Seminar: Latin American Geography
  • LAS 6938 Power and Environment
  • LAS 6938 Environmental Social Movements in Latin America
  • LAS 6938 Foundations of Economics for Sustainable Development
  • LAA 6905 Latin America City + Landscape
  • LAS 6938 / LAS 4935 Coffee Culture, Production and Markets
  • SYA 7933 Environmental Governance
  • URP 6424 Sustainable Urbanism in the Americas
  • AEB 6933 Latin American Economic Development
Elective Courses

Select up to 6 credits, address Latin American development issue in a paper or project in each selected course

  • AEB 6645 Economic Development and Agriculture
  • AEB 6674 International Agricultural Policy and Trade
  • AEB 6933 International Humanitarian Assistance
  • AEB 5232 Farming Systems Research and Extension Methods
  • AEE 5073 Agriculture, Resources, People and the Environment
  • ALS 5155 Global Agroecosystems 
  • ANG 6930 Gender and Change in the African Diaspora
  • ANG 6930 /LAS 6938 Indigenous Peoples of Mexico and Central America
  • ANG 6930 Peoples of Brazil
  • CPO 6077 Comparative Social Movements
  • CPO 6932 Democratic Regime Transition
  • CPO 6091 Introduction to Comparative Policy Analysis
  • DCP 6931 Sustainable Innovations in Global Health
  • ECO 5708 International Macroeconomics
  • ECO 7716 International Economic Relations
  • EDH 6931 International Higher Education
  • FYC 6330 Theories & Community Development
  • FYC 6932 International Perspectives on Aging and Caregiving
  • FIN 6638 International Finance
  • FIN 6930 International Financial Markets in Brazil/Chile/Argentina
  • FOR 6170 Tropical Forestry
  • FOR 6934 Forest Policy Field Course
  • GEO 5809 Geography of World Agriculture
  • GEO 6905 Amazonia
  • GEO 6938 Land Use and Land Cover Change
  • GEO 6938 Management of Protected Areas in Africa and Latin America
  • HSC 6625 Trends in International Health
  • INR 6507 International Organizations
  • INR 6607 International Institutions
  • INR 5935 Advanced Topics in International Relations
  • INR 6933 Comparative Environmental Politics
  • LEI 6834 Ecotourism
  • LAH 5607 History of the Amazon
  • LAH 5934 Latin American Cold War
  • LAS 6290 Community Forestry Management
  • LAS 6291 Conflict and Collaboration Management
  • LAS 6291 Facilitation Skills for Adaptive Management
  • LAS 6295 Latin American Business Environment
  • LAS 4935 Children in Developing Countries
  • LAS 6291 Conflict and Collaboration Management
  • LAS 6938 People and Protected Areas 
  • LAS 6938 Development Administration
  • LAS 6938/CPO 6307 Latin American Politics
  • LAS 6938 LA and Caribbean Migration to U.S.
  • LAS6938 Law and Order in Latin America
  • LAS 6938 Trade and Human Rights in the Americas
  • LAS 6938 The Amazon: Public Policies for Conservation and Development
  • LAS 6938 Violence & Crime in L.A.
  • LAW 6930 International Human Rights
  • LAW 6930 Law of NAFTA
  • LAW 6930 Comparative Environmental Law in the Americas
  • LAW 6930 Law and Public Policy in the Americas
  • LAW 6930 International Trade and the Environment
  • MMC 5306 International Communications
  • MMC 6936 Intercultural Communications
  • PAD 6835 Development Administration
  • PHC 6937 International Health
  • REL 5195 Religion and Social Change
  • SUR 6427 Land Tenure and Administration
  • SYA 7933 Environment and Society
  • URP 6541 Econ Dev Planning
  • URP 6905 Urban Planning in Brazil
  • WST 6348 EcoFeminism
  • WST 6935 Feminist Ethnography
  • WST 6935 Gender and Cultural Politics in Latin America
  • WST 6935 Human Rights: Women in the Americas
Frequency of course offerings

Before each semester, the Center compiles and posts online a Guide to hundreds of LAS-related courses available the coming semester. Some courses contributing to specializations are offered every semester, others once every few years. The list of courses provided here is not intended to guarantee any curricular offerings, but rather to open horizons to topics that have been and may be offered in widely varied programs around UF.

Additional courses

Each specialization offers students the opportunity to craft personalized programs of study and to add their own contributions. Students may identify additional courses relevant for a specialization, including new and one-time offerings, and may seek approval from the Specialization Coordinator to count such courses toward specialization credits.


Leslie Anderson (Political Science; Central America Argentina) Popular Politics and Citizen Empowerment, Development of Democracy

Grenville Barnes (Forest Resources and Conservation; Central and South America, Caribbean) Land Tenure, Cadastral and Land Information Systems

Carmen Diana Deere (Emerita. Latin American Studies, Food and Resource Economics; Brazil, Andes, Central America, and Caribbean) Agricultural Development, Gender and Development, Political

David Diehl (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Program Planning and Evaluation

Michael Heckenberger (Anthropology; Brazil and Caribbean) Tropical and Historical Archeology, Embodiment, Urban Studies

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol (Law) Civil Rights, Comparative Law, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, International and Regional Human Rights (Inter-America and Europe),  International and Transnational Law, LGBT Issues, Marriage Equality, Race & Race Relations  Sovereignty, War and War Crimes, Women, Gender and the Law

Travis McArthur (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Food and Resource Economics; Trade, Technology Adoption, Methods

Charles Moss (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; Mexico) Food and Resource Economics, Agricultural Finance, Agricultural Policy

Conner Mullally (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Food and Resource Economics; Impact Evaluation, Labor Policy

Andy Naranjo (Finance) International Finance, Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance, Real Estate Finance, Capital Market Linkages and Flows, Information Flows and Processing

Jeffrey Needell (History) Brazilian History, Early Modern Latin America, History of Amazonia

Gulcan Onel (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Food and Resource Economics; Mexican Immigrants in Florida, Labor Economics

Marit Ostebo (Anthropology and Development) Gender equality and Women’s Rights, Gender Based Violence, Medical Anthropology, Global Health, Reproductive Health and Rights, Anthropology of Aid and Development, Anthropology of Human Rights, Feminist Anthropology, Religion and Development, Faith-Based Organizations, Team-Based-Learning

Susan Paulson (Latin American Studies) Political Ecology, Gender/Class/Race/Ethnicity, Research Methodologies, Sustainability Science, Degrowth

Cecilia Peluffo (Economics Department) Development Economics, Labor Economics, Applied Microeconomics

Anna Peterson (Religion; Central America) Social Ethics and Environmental Ethics, Christianity

Stephen Perz  (Sociology; Brazil) Environmental Sociology and Demography, Sociology of Development

Ignacio Porzecanski (SNRE) Biodiversity, Sustainable Development, General

Stephen Powell (Law; international trade law, dispute settlement, trade and environment; general)

Hector Sandoval (Economics Department, Director of Economic Analysis Program BEBR) Social Interactions, Education, Poverty, Program Evaluation

Marianne Schmink (Emerita. Latin American Studies and Anthropology; Brazil) Sustainable Development, Regional Development, Women and Development

Cynthia Simmons (Geography) Agrarian Reform, Land Conflict, Political Ecology, Economic Development & Environmental Policy, Social Processes

Jane Southworth (Geography; Central America) Climate Change, Remote Sensing

Marilyn Swisher (Family Youth and Community Services; Caribbean and Central America) Rural Development, Adult Educational Programs in Community Development, Sustainable and Organic Agriculture

Catherine Tucker (Latin American Studies and Anthropology; Central America, Mexico, and Peru) Ecological and Economic Anthropology, Environmental Governance, Community-Based Conservation, Institutional Analysis, Climate Change Adaptation, Belief Systems, Sustainability

Pilar Useche (Latin American Studies & Food and Resource Economics; Andes and Central America) Land Policy, Natural Resource Economics

Robert Walker (Latin American Studies and Geography; Brazil) Nature-Society Studies Land Change, Geo-spatial Analysis