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Global Environmentalism and Local Politics
Transnational Advocacy Networks in Brazil, Ecuador, and India
Global Environmentalism and Local Politics
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Maria Guadalupe Moog Rodrigues - Author
SUNY series in Global Environmental Policy
Hardcover - 209 pages
Release Date: November 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5877-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5877-8

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 209 pages
Release Date: November 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5878-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5878-5

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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.

“Readers interested in the political interplay and power sharing between local, national, and transnational groups in the environmental field will find this book useful for its analysis and description of the issues.” — Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

“One of the great strengths of this book is that its findings and conclusions are not solely of academic and theoretical interest, but also contain lessons and insights that are relevant for activists working in transnational advocacy networks.” — Latin American Politics and Society

"Rodrigues shows that participation of local groups in transnational activism does not always lead to their empowerment and can even threaten their material and physical safety." — Jill M. Belsky, University of Montana

"While development literature, and some recent political science, has focused a good deal of attention on non-governmental organizations and global civil society, this book attends more closely to the key issue of the disposition of power within such networks. This is a substantial and valuable body of research." — Stephan Schwartzman, Director, International Program, Environmental Defense

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

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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




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