Biodiversity Governance in Developing Countries: Brazil 1990-2010

Tatiana Couto


This article approaches the evalution of various modes of environmental governance in developing countries by analyzing the Brazilian policy towards biological diversity between 1990 and 2010. Governance is broadly defined as an ensemble of systems of coordination and control among a variety of players with different purposes and objectives. This study draws on previous works on governance in the European Union (EU) that identify four main types of relationships between various political actors. Such relationships may be classified as follows: a) statism, characterized by a hierarchical relationship among political actors; b) pluralism, where a wider variety of private actors is observed; c) corporatism, where the state acts together with privileged private actors, and d) networks formed by public and private actors interacting over time. A historical-institutionalist approach coupled with process-tracing methodology allows for the comparison, over time, of critical trends in biodiversity governance clustered around three dimensions: actors (public-private dimension); institutions (rules and structures, decision making), and policy outcomes. By adapting this typology to the Brazilian case, this article seeks to shed light on the means by which public and private actors from developing countries participate in the formulation and negotiation of policies to contain biodiversity loss.

Keywords: Biodiversity policy, Brazil, historical institutionalism, governance.

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