Global Environmentalism and Local Politics

Transnational Advocacy Networks in Brazil, Ecuador, and India

By Maria Guadalupe Moog Rodrigues

Subjects: Third World Studies
Series: SUNY series in Global Environmental Policy
Paperback : 9780791458785, 209 pages, November 2003
Hardcover : 9780791458778, 209 pages, November 2003

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Table of contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms



1. Introduction


Transnational Advocacy Networks, Civil Society, and the Environment: Defining Concepts
Key Questions
Research Method and Organization of the Book


2. The Dilemma of Amazonian Development and Its Impact on Rondonia


Amazonian Development and Military Rule (1964–1984)
Environmental and Development Policies for Amazonia in Democratic Brazil


3. Urgent Action! Transnational Mobilization against Disaster in Rondonia


The Beginning
The Rondonia Network Gains Momentum
Transnational Activism and Domestic Constraints—The Rondônia Network within Brazil
Taking Stock of the Rondônia Network in the 1980s


4. "Localizing" Transnational Activism—Success and Failure


The Issue of Transparency: Environmentally Sustainable Development to Whom? By Whom?
Building Capacity for Participation: Searching for the Right Recipe in Rondonia
The Rondonia Network’s Legitimacy Crisis of 1994
Taking Stock of the Rondônia Network in the Early 1990s


5. Listening to The Grassroots—The Rondônia Network and Local Politics


The Rondonia Network Takes Planafloro to the Inspection Panel
Evaluating and Restructuring Planafloro: A New Meaning for Environmentally Sustainable Development?
Taking Stock of the Rondônia Network at the Turn of the Millennium


6. Environmental Activism beyond Brazil I—The Struggle against Oil Exploitation in Ecuador


Fighting Oil Exploitation in Ecuador’s Oriente: Background and Network Origins
The Anti-Oil Network and the Campaigns against Texaco and ARCO
Taking Stock of Ecuador’s Anti-Oil Network


7. Environmental Activism beyond Brazil II—The Struggle against Large Dams in India


The Struggle against the Sardar Sarovar Dam—Background and Network Origins
The Narmada Network Strategies and Their Local Impacts
Taking Stock of the Narmada Network


8. Conclusions


Local Empowerment and Local Results
Lessons and Recommendations
Final Thoughts





Examines the internal politics of transnational environmental advocacy networks.


What is the role played by local organizations in transnational environmental advocacy networks? Global Environmentalism and Local Politics revisits this question by looking at transnational environmental activism in Brazil, Ecuador, and India. Rodrigues investigates the internal politics of these networks, focusing on their internal balance of power, choice of strategies, and distribution of resources among members at the international, national, and local levels. Contrary to existing assumptions, local organizations, rather than international or national non-governmental organizations, are the key players in these networks, while at the same time mere participation in transnational advocacy efforts does not necessarily lead to the empowerment of local organizations. Participation may, for example, impose unanticipated political and technical burdens, and despite their overarching common goal of environmental preservation, network members may have different understandings of what environmentally sustainable development is and how it can be best achieved.

Maria Guadalupe Moog Rodrigues is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the College of the Holy Cross.