Global Environmental Change, Local Social Problems: Fighting for Climate Justice in Brazil's Amazon
Kellogg Visiting Fellow
Contributing to the scholarship at the intersection of social and climate justice, I examine how social actors frame and process disputes in the course of collective action for better environmental governance practices. The climate justice literature focuses on the conditions for mobilization against climate change. Scholars interested in law and social movements assess how divergent activist meaning-making processes help explain distinct legal and political responses to social and environmental problems. Using original ethnographic, geospatial, and archival data, I bring together these complementary bodies of research to analyze contrasting patterns of flood governance in two cities in Brazil’s Amazon: Belém and Paragominas. While legal and political actors perceive floods as a matter of natural disasters in Belém, their counterparts recognize and address these ecological hazards as issues of law and public policy in Paragominas. Disentangling these processes offers one of the first insights into how framing climate and social problems as legal and political matters may either perpetuate social-ecological rights violations or promote social change through new governance practices.
Formerly a practicing lawyer, Kellogg Visiting Fellow Vitor Dias has just completed his PhD in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington, where he was an affiliated researcher at the Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes (CASEL) and a research fellow at the Milt and Judi Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession at the Maurer School of Law...