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Global networks in national governance? Changes of professional expertise in Amazon environmental governance

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In 2019, wildfires in the Amazon renewed international concern about Brazilian environmental policy, led by Jair Bolsonaro. As one of the biggest repositories of the world's biodiversity, the Amazon Rainforest has been a source of concern in global environmental governance. Given this salience, one would expect that domestic governance would be highly permeated by professionals with international circulation and that transnational ties would be a central target of Bolsonaro's populist nationalistic perspective. In this article, I seek to understand whether and how professionals involved in policymaking in the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment are connected to national and international organizations, by analyzing the networks of career paths of high-ranking staff in the Rousseff, Temer and Bolsonaro administrations. The data show a consistently low percentage of ties between professionals and international organizations. However, the types of international experience and knowledge that are deemed important shifted significantly under Bolsonaro.

This publication is part of the Market for Anarchy project.


  • South and Central America
  • Nationalism
  • Climate
  • Governance