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While global fanfare over sustainable development goals abounds, the Brazilian Amazon is on fire, and all sorts of plans are made for the region that continue to take place in the name of sustainable development. Based on ethnographic research and detailed case studies that focus on the creation of vast conservation corridors, the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the world, and new forms of land settlement projects, Eve Bratman's research shows how well-intentioned plans for Amazonian sustainable development lead to state encroachments, capital expansion, and regional imbalance of power that are, on the whole, more devastating than beneficial.
Given that governmental and corporate interests are constantly bumping up against those of environmentalists and local populations, Bratman argues that sustainable development is essentially a political process, rather than a product or a sweet spot of harmonious balance. Her work interrogates why sustainable development continues to be such a powerful and influential idea in the region, and the uneven impacts it has had on various political and economic interests and geographic areas.
Eve Bratman is assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin & Marshall College. She is author of Governing the Rainforest: Sustainable Development Politics in the Brazilian Amazon (Oxford 2019), a book based on ten years of research concerning development policies, infrastructure, conservation, and human rights in the Brazilian state of Pará.
This talk is presented by the LLILAS Benson Brazil Center.
Monday, October 14 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Benson Latin American Collection, 2nd floor conference room
2300 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78712-1469