Environmental Policy and Politics in Latin America
- LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 29 November 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0021
- LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 29 November 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0021
The study of environmental policy and politics has undergone a rapid and complex development. As elsewhere, the view that in Latin America and the Caribbean there was neither political action nor policy action on environmental affairs before the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, has shifted to a more nuanced understanding of the evolution of environmental politics, both across and within nations. The Latin American “shades of green” owe their range to a diversity of cultures that coexist within a diversity of ecosystems. Green politics unfold in time and in place. Nineteenth-century state formation and commodity-led growth shaped the first layers of modern environmentalisms in state and society. The view of “empty” and “wasted” forests that existed as productive engines for national progress was conventional wisdom until the third quarter of last century. In the 20th century, economic forces, the impetus of modernization, and internal migration recreated rural and urban environments. The Indian Question reappeared, helped by the new structure of political opportunities provided by transnational networks, with ethnic and green politics feeding each other in local and global arenas. In the cities, grassroots activists and professionals have progressively colored politics and policymaking. Green bureaucratic structures of diverse autonomy and limited reach characterize the evolution of the Latin American state. Governments have played a secondary role in the climate-change debate.
The literature on environmental policy and politics, though still in its infancy, is burgeoning. Recent edited volumes and review articles help to paint an imposing landscape. Carruthers 2008 assesses the current state of environmental justice scholarship, Liverman and Vilas 2006 reviews the literature on neoliberalism and environmental policy, Miller 2007 provides a rich historical overview, and Roberts and Thanos 2003 introduces key topics and regional trends. Bebbington 2009 and Carey 2007 review book production of the last decade. Collinson 1996 shows the diversity of conflict ecologies and policy arenas. Christen, et al. 1998 introduces the shades of green of environmentalism in Latin America. United Nations Environment Programme 2010 provides an overview of environmental problems and policymaking.
Bebbington, Anthony. “Contesting Environmental Transformation: Political Ecologies and Environmentalisms in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Latin American Research Review 44.3 (2009): 177–186.
Surveys some of the most prominent books published between 2004 and 2008.
Carey, Mark. “The Nature of Place: Recent Research on Environment and Society in Latin America.” Latin American Research Review 42.3 (2007): 251–264.
This is a review of recent book production that complements Bebbington 2009.
Carruthers, David V., ed. Environmental Justice in Latin America: Problems, Promise, and Practice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008.
The volume contains a dozen case studies on “popular environmentalism” and an overview of the state of the research on environmental justice movements. The most comprehensive and updated handbook of its kind.
Christen, Catherine, Selene Herculano, Kathryn Hochstetler, Renae Prell, Marie Price, and J. Timmons Roberts. “Latin American Environmentalism: Comparative Views.” Studies in Comparative International Development 33.2 (1998): 58–87.
An account of the variety of environmentalisms in Costa Rica, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil.
Collinson, Hellen, ed. Green Guerrillas: Environmental Conflicts and Initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean; A Reader. London: Latin American Bureau, 1996.
Reviews two dozen cases, ranging from urban planning in Curitiba to environmental crisis in Haiti.
Liverman, Diana M., and Silvina Vilas. “Neoliberalism and the Environment in Latin America.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 31 (November 2006): 327–363.
An excellent survey of the literature on the different impacts that structural adjustment reforms have had in the management of natural resources and environmental affairs.
Miller, Shawn William. An Environmental History of Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
A short history of six centuries, sketching key process and episodes. Chapters 6 and 7 introduce contemporary politics of urban planning and forest conservation, providing a broad introductory bibliography.
Roberts, J. Timmons, and Nikki Demetria Thanos. Trouble in Paradise: Globalization and Environmental Crises in Latin America. New York: Routledge, 2003.
An engaging narrative introducing the politics of trade and pollution, disease, the Green Revolution, deforestation, urban environmental movements, and contentious indigenous politics. Cases discussed in detail include Mexico, Central America, urban Brazil, and the Amazon.
United Nations Environment Programme. Environment Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean: GEO LAC 3. Panama City, Panama: United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2010.
Provides an assessment of the main environmental problems in the region and the current state of environmental policymaking.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
- Advanced Democracies, Electoral System Reform in
- Advanced Democracies, Public Opinion and Public Policy in
- Advertising and Election Campaigns in the United States
- Africa, Comparative Politics of
- American Indian Politics
- Arab-Israel Conflict, The
- Arendt, Hannah
- Aristotle's Political Thought
- Australia and New Zealand, Comparative Politics of
- Authoritarianism in Russia
- Bicameralism in Stable Democracies
- Biopolitics and State Regulation of Human Life
- Brazilian Political Development
- Business-State Relations in Europe
- Canadian Foreign Policy
- Candidate Emergence and Recruitment
- Channels of Electoral Representation in Advanced Industria...
- China's One-Child Policy
- China-Taiwan Relations
- Chinese Communist Party
- Chinese Nationalism
- Civil Society in South Asia
- Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Civil-Military Relations in Asia
- Civil-Military Relations in Latin America
- Class in American Politics
- Comparative Capitalism Theory
- Comparative Industrial Relations in Europe
- Comparative Politics of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bis...
- Comparative Politics of Chile and Uruguay
- Comparative Politics of Federalism
- Comparative Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
- Congress, Defense, and Foreign Policy
- Congressional Reassertion of Authority
- Conservative Litigation Strategies and Groups in US Judici...
- Corruption in China
- Cosmopolitan Political Thought
- Crisis of European Integration in Historical Perspective, ...
- Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
- Cuban Political Development
- Cycles of Protest
- Democracy and Authoritarianism in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Democracy and Dictatorship in Central Asia
- Democracy in Latin America
- Democratic Citizenship
- Democratic Peace Theory
- Democratic Theory
- Democratization in Africa
- Democratization in Central America
- Democratization in Mexico
- Development of Survey Research
- Direct Democracy in the United States
- East Africa, Politics of
- Economic Voting
- Election Forecasting
- Election Laws in Democracies
- Electoral and Party System Development in Sub-Saharan Afri...
- Electoral Change in Latin America
- Emotion and Racial Attitudes in Contemporary American Poli...
- Environmental Governance
- Environmental Politics among Advanced Industrial Democraci...
- Ethnic Diasporas and US Foreign Policy
- Ethnic Politics
- Eurasia, Comparative Politics of
- European Social Democracy
- European Union, Politics of the
- Failed and Weak States in Theory and Practice
- Far-Right Parties in Europe
- Federalism in the United States
- Field Experiments
- Filibuster, The
- Gender and Electoral Politics in the United States
- Gender and International Relations
- Gender, Behavior, and Representation
- Global Inequality
- Globalization and the Welfare State
- Globalization, Health Crises, and Health Care
- Governance in Africa
- Governmental Responses to Political Corruption
- Gridlock and Divided Government in the U.S.
- Historiography of Twentieth-Century American Conservatism,...
- Hobbes’s Political Thought
- Hume’s Political Thought
- Hybrid Regimes
- Identity and Political Behavior
- Immigrant Incorporation in Canada
- Immigrant Incorporation in Western Europe
- Immigration and International Relations
- Impact of Campaign Contributions on Congressional Behavior...
- Implicit Attitudes in Public Opinion
- Income Dynamics and Politics in North America and Europe
- Income Inequality and Advanced Democracies
- Income Inequality in the United States, The Politics of
- Indian Democracy
- Indigenous Rights and Governance in Canada, Australia, and...
- Informal Practices of Accountability in Urban Africa
- Institutional Change in Advanced Democracies
- Intellectual Property in International Relations
- Interest Groups and Inequality in the United States
- Interest Groups in American Politics
- International Conflict Management
- International Criminal Justice
- International Law
- International NGOs
- International Political Economy of Illegal Drugs
- Internet and Politics, The
- Iran, Political Development of
- Israeli Politics
- Judicial Supremacy and National Judicial Review
- Kant's Political Thought
- Labor Politics in East Asia
- Land Reform in Latin America
- Latin America, Democratic Transitions in
- Latin America, Environmental Policy and Politics in
- Latin America, Guerrilla Insurgencies in
- Latin America, Social Movements in
- Legal Mobilization
- LGBT Politics in the United States
- Liberal Pluralism
- Local Governments in the United States
- Machiavelli’s Political Thought
- Marx's Political Thought
- Mechanisms of Representation
- Media Effects in Politics
- Media Politics in South Asia
- Minority Political Engagement and Representation in the Un...
- Modern Dynastic Rule
- Modern Elections and Voting Behavior in Europe
- National Interbranch Politics in the United States
- NATO, Politics of
- Neoclassical Realism
- New Institutionalism Revisited, The
- North America, Comparative Politics of
- Oil, Politics of
- Origins and Impact of Proportional Representation, The
- Outcomes of Social Movements and Protest Activities
- Partisan and Nonpartisan Theories of Organization in the U...
- Partisan Polarization in the US Congress
- Partisan Polarization in the US Electorate
- Party Networks
- Peace Operations
- Personality and Politics
- Plato's Political Thought
- Policy Responsiveness to Public Opinion
- Political Economy of Financial Regulation in Advanced Ind...
- Political Economy of Taxation, The
- Political Geography in American Politics
- Political Obligation
- Political Parties and Electoral Politics of Japan
- Political Thought, Hegel's
- Political Thought of the American Founders, The
- Politics and Policy in Contemporary Argentina
- Politics of Anti-Americanism
- Politics of Disaster Prevention and Management
- Politics of Financial Crises
- Politics of Foreign Direct Investment in South Asia
- Politics of Higher Education in the U.S.
- Politics of Internal Conquest in the United States and Can...
- Politics of Japan
- Politics of Natural Disasters, The
- Politics of North Korea
- Politics of Science and Technology
- Politics of South Africa
- Politics of Southern Africa
- Postcolonialism and International Relations
- Post-Communist Democratization
- Preferential Trade Agreements, Politics of
- Presidential Persuasion and Public Opinion
- Presidential Primaries and Caucuses
- Public Opinion in Advanced Industrial Democracies
- Public Opinion in New Democracies and Developing Nations
- Qualitative Methods, The Renewal of
- Race in American Political Thought
- Regime Transitions and Variation in Post-Communist Europe
- Regional Integration in Latin America
- Regional Security
- Regulating Food Production
- Religion in American Political Thought
- Religion in Contemporary Political Thought
- Religion, Politics, and Civic Engagement in the United Sta...
- Rousseau's Political Thought
- Rule of Law
- Russia and the West
- Science and Democracy
- Social Policy and Immigrant Integration
- South Korea, Politics of
- Spectacle, The
- State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa
- State Formation
- State, The Nature of the
- Supreme Court of the United States, The
- Systemic Theories of International Politics
- Taiwan, Politics of
- Tea Party, The
- The New Right in American Political Thought
- Transitional Justice
- Turkey, Political Development of
- US Military Bases Abroad
- US Presidency, The
- Voter Turnout
- Welfare State Development
- Welfare State Development in Latin America
- Welfare State Development in Western Europe
- West Africa, Politics of
- Worker Politics in China
- Youth and Generational Differences in US Politics