Transnational Activist Networks and South-South Finance: The Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES)
Kathy Hochstetler (LSE)
Transnational Activist Networks (TANs) have been credited with achieving important influence over multilateral development banks and - through them - national governments that ignore environmental and human rights claims. At the same time, there are important limits to their action, not least because of the problematic North-South power dynamics they embody. This talk examines transnational activist networks where all the actors (banks, governments, activists) are from the global south asking how they operate and how successful they can be. It uses a case study of a TAN trying to influence the BNDES to be more transparent and to play closer attention to socio-environmental impacts of its finance.
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Kathy Hochstetler holds a PhD in Political Science (Minnesota), but has always been interested in the interdisciplinary study of environment and development. She has researched this theme from many angles - global environmental negotiations, regional trade agreements (Mercosur), and through the study of national environmental movements, environment policy, and democratic institutions, primarily in South America. She has conducted field research in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Her most recent book is the prize-winning Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society (Duke University Press, with Margaret Keck). She is currently completing a research project on the role of the BASIC countries (Brazil, China, India, South Africa) in climate negotiations and is writing a book on the adoption of wind and solar power in Brazil and South Africa. In addition, she is researching south-south development finance, with particular focus on Brazil’s BNDES. This research was supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation as well as the University of Waterloo.
Hochstetler previously held academic positions at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Political Science department of the University of Waterloo (Canada), the University of New Mexico (US), and Colorado State University (US). She is an Associate Editor of Journal of Politics in Latin America, and on the Editorial Boards of Ambiente e Sociedade, Global Environmental Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Review of International Political Economy, and several book series. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.