Environmental Politics in Latin America

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Since colonial times the position of the social, political and economic elites in Latin America has been intimately connected to their control over natural resources. Consequently, struggles to protect the environment from over-exploitation and contamination have been related to marginalized groups’ struggles against local, national and transnational elites. The recent rise of progressive, left-leaning governments – often supported by groups struggling for environmental justice – has challenged the established elites and raised expectations about new regimes for natural resource management. Based on case-studies in eight Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, El Salvador and Guatemala), this book investigates the extent to which there have been elite shifts, how new governments have related to old elites, and how that has impacted on environmental governance and the management of natural resources. It examines the rise of new cadres of technocrats and the old economic and political elites’ struggle to remain influential. The book also discusses the challenges faced in trying to overcome structural inequalities to ensure a more sustainable and equitable governance of natural resources. This timely book will be of great interest to researchers and masters students in development studies, environmental management and governance, geography, political science and Latin American area studies.

Table of contents

Half Title
Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Notes on contributors
1 Environmental governance and sustainable development in Latin America
2 Elites, classes and environmental governance: conceptual and theoretical challenges
Part 1 Agriculture and biotechnology
3 El Salvador: the challenge to entrenched elites and the difficult road to a sustainable development model
4 Bolivia: emerging and traditional elites and the governance of the soy sector
5 Argentina: government–agribusiness elite dynamics and its consequences for environmental governance
6 Ecuador: changing biosafety frames and new political forces in Correa’s government
Part 2 Mining
7 New elites around South America’s strategic resources
8 Staying the same: transnational elites, mining and environmental governance in Guatemala
9 Elite views about water and energy consumption in mining in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador
Part 3 Forestry
10 REDD+ and forest governance in Latin America: the role of science–policy networks
11 State governments and forest policy: a new elite in the Brazilian Amazon?
12 Conclusion: with or against elites? How to move towards more sustainable environmental governance in Latin America

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