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How Subnational Governments are Rescaling Environmental Governance: The Case of the Brazilian State of São Paulo

Setzer, Joana
Journal of environmental policy & planning 2017 v.19 no.5 pp. 503-519
environmental governance, interviews, loci, Brazil
This paper analyses how, by undertaking an international agenda to address global environmental problems, subnational governments (SGs) are promoting a rescaling of environmental governance. It uses the Brazilian state of São Paulo as a primary example. It argues that by establishing an international environmental agenda, the state breaks the fixed scales in which it would traditionally operate. As a result, the state engages in a particular form of rescaled environmental governance—one that extends the locus, agency, and scope of action from the regional to the transnational level. To undertake this analysis, the paper brings the multilevel governance and subnational diplomacy literatures into dialogue. The paper suggests that when engaging in an international environmental agenda, SGs promote six forms of rescaling; this is a wider and more nuanced picture than so far envisioned by the literature. The paper draws upon documental analysis, and semi-structured interviews.