Business and Social Justice in Latin America

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
27 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L994 Global Studies with Latin American Studies,
BA L995 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L996 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (including Placement Year),
BA L997 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA L990 Global Studies and Latin American Studies,
BA L991 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L992 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (including Placement Year),
BA L993 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (including Year Abroad)

Module description

The module takes an interdisciplinary, regional approach to the challenges of social justice and sustainability in Latin America, offering insights into the major features of the region and trends emerging from the pandemic. You will gain perspectives from a broad range of fields, including politics, economics, and management, as well as sociology, contemporary history, political ecology and human rights.

The module starts with a critical understanding of the key characteristics of the region and an appreciation of the diversity of countries, political systems, economic development, cultures, and histories that characterise contemporary Latin America. The module then explores the concept of the ‘triple bottom line’ and the meaning of social justice in a region where the struggle for democracy, the recognition of human rights and transitional justice is set against staggering levels of flawed rule of law, organized crime, armed conflict, inequality, discrimination, and precarious urbanization have impacted economic development and social wellbeing. Using case studies and original research by the teaching team, the module explores how innovation, entrepreneurship, and emerging business models grounded on the ‘platform economy’ can impact economic development and social justice. Finally, the module considers the ways through which business can be a force for good and promote inclusiveness and the empowerment of minorities in the region. You do not need to speak Spanish or Portuguese to take this module. All you need is an interest in learning more about recent trends and processes shaping business and management and life in contemporary Latin America.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To examine the broad social, cultural, economic, and political processes and trends that have shaped contemporary Latin America.

  • To foster an understanding of the concepts of social justice and the triple bottom line, how business can be a ‘force for good’ while appreciating the role of national contexts.

  • To encourage students to think in an interdisciplinary way, drawing on core concepts from relevant disciplines.

  • To encourage students to develop skills in written communication through the writing of a business report, team working and oral communication skills through active participation and presentations during the sessions.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a working critical understanding of economic and social development in Latin America.

  2. Demonstrate a good understanding of the contemporary challenges faced by the region.

  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of business in promoting social good.

  4. Demonstrate the ability to engage with scholarship from diverse disciplines related to topics featured in the module.

  5. Demonstrate the ability to take an interdisciplinary approach to researching and understanding Latin America through primary sources, research reports and scholarly publications.

  6. Demonstrate the ability to write in an informed manner a business report on the theme of social justice through the prism of a particular company and its business model.

Module information


  • The Context: an overview of the economic and political systems in Latin America; trends in human development and key challenges faced by the region.

  • Sustainable governance of Latin America and policy; issues of corruption, inequalities, labour informality, discrimination and the relevance of national contexts.

  • International business and institutional voids in Latin America.

  • Concepts of social justice and sustainability; the ‘triple bottom line’: people, planet and profit; social and environmental justice.

  • Empowerment through entrepreneurship.

  • Emerging business models and the gig economy.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour workshop per week.

Teaching is fully face-to-face requiring active participation by students, group work and oral presentations.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Nicolas Forsans, email:
Nicolas Forsans, Hamid Foroughi, Rodrigo Nunez, Sonia Siraz, Luciana Zorzoli & Antonio Da Silva



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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