The World-System and the Destruction of the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest
Review (Fernand Braudel Center),Vol. XVI, No. 2, pp. 215-40, Spring 1993
Posted: 16 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 15, 2009
The paper shows how the destruction and the preservation of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest are tied to Brazil's links with the capitalist world-economy. It divides the institutions, social groups, etc., affecting Brazilian ecopolitics into world-systemic and antisystemic agents. The systemic agents discussed are Brazilian military rule, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and multinational organizations. The antisystemic agents discussed are the environmental movement, both internationally and within Brazil, and grassroots resistance. These antisystemic agents exerted pressure on the government of major First World countries which in turn exerted pressure on international organizations to stop environmentally unsound projects in the forest. They counterbalanced the power of systemic forces, substantially changing the ecopolitics of the world-system. Their efforts were successful due to an increasing public awareness of the state of the global environment. Public opinion gave leverage to antisystemic forces. The paper concludes by arguing that the survival of democratic institutions in Brazil is imperative for a continuing debate on the state of the Brazilian environment.
Keywords: world-system, Brazil, Brazilian, rain forest, ecopolitics, deforestation, Amazon
JEL Classification: O13, O19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation