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Reaping the Seeds of Discord: Advocacy Coalitions and Changes in Brazilian Environmental Regulation

  • K3.11, Strand Campus Strand London, England United Kingdom (map)

The Brazil Institute invites you to a lecture by Flavia Donadelli.


Departing from theoretical approaches focused on the policy process – such as the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) – this work investigates the main reasons behind the marked changes that occurred in the regulation of three Brazilian environmental policy areas between 2005 and 2015. The policy areas under investigation are Forestry, in particular the approval of a new Forest Code in 2012; Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing, specifically the new 2015 law on the topic (Lei 13.123/2015); and Pesticides, in particular, regulatory changes concerning the registration and use of new products. In order to assess the reasons for regulatory change in these three areas, this work explores the role of the four causal factors advanced in the ACF – external events, internal events, learning and negotiated agreement – and assesses them in relation to the to the particularities of the Brazilian institutional context. It does so through process-tracing of each sector’s history and content analysis of arguments proffered in National Congress debates, interviews with key actors and in the national media. The findings indicate that among the external events identified as relevant for the regulatory changes are the increased relevance of commodity production and export between 2008 and 2013 and the consequent increase in the political and economic power of the agribusiness sector. The main internal events identified point to the importance of the beginning of the enforcement of previously non-enforced regulations; the limits of the state’s capacity to enforce previous regulations; international negotiations; and media scandals. Finally, incentives generated by international negotiations and elite networking were found to be crucial determinants of negotiated agreement and learning between coalitions. One of the main conclusions of the study was that the power of coalitions which were already powerful enough to be heard in the negotiation process of policy change was reinforced and less powerful actors were excluded from decisive influence in processes of negotiation and learning that led to policy change.



Flavia Donadelli is a teaching fellow in Public Policy and Administration at London School of Economics and Political Science. She joined LSE Department of Government in 2011, as an MSc student. She has pursued her PhD in the same department investigating the role of advocacy coalitions and learning in regulatory change in Brazil. Before joining LSE as a fellow, she taught Public Administration at University College London. Flavia has long been interested in environmental policies and regulations. She has a BA in International Relations from University of Sao Paulo (USP) – Brazil, a Masters in International Relations from USP and a second MSc in Regulations from LSE.

This talk, part of the King's Brazil Institute Research Seminar Series, will be followed by a Q&A and wine.