Development Elites, Impacted Communities, and Environmental Governance in Latin America

Moisés Arce, Maiah Jaskoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue examines environmental governance, conceptualized as environmental protections, support for sustainable development, and the regulation of large-scale development projects. Through analysis of dynamics during the commodities super-cycle of the 2000s–2010s, contributors explore the multifaceted ways that societal actors interact with the state to support, oppose, or modify environmental governance, with a focus on communities impacted by export activities and economic elites who favor their expansion. Several papers seek to understand the governance of sectors—mining, oil, and soy. Others begin with natural areas threatened by development—urban wetlands and forests. As a collection, the papers reveal three commonalities that affect the extent to which environmental governance institutions address demands of impacted communities: (1) the question of whether a policymaking process takes place in reaction to mobilizing, or whether it proactively engages environmental questions as they pertain to local populations; (2) strategies by civil society, and above all impacted residents, to ensure the implementation of environmental policies; and (3) debates over knowledge, including community efforts to harness expertise and information to counter paradigms advanced by business actors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Environmental governance
  • Environmental institutions
  • Environmental politics
  • Latin America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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