Scaling up Buen Vivir: Globalizing Local Environmental Governance from Ecuador
Professor Craig Kauffman has a new article in the top journal for international environmental politics! “Scaling up Buen Vivir: Globalizing Local Environmental Governance from Ecuador” at MIT Press Journals.
Abstract: How does the population of a small Ecuadorian province influence the development strategies pursued nationally and consequently push the global conversation toward an alternative model of sustainable development? This article explores watershed management reform in Tungurahua, Ecuador, to analyze how local communities challenged the dominant international model of sustainable development and—through a process of negotiation, learning, and network construction with international partners—produced an alternative model infused by indigenous norms of human wellbeing, or sumak kawsay—el buen vivir. The institutionalization of these norms was a catalyst for the development of Ecuador’s National Plan for Wellbeing (Buen Vivir) and Ecuador’s quest to change the way the world thinks about development and sustainability. This case illuminates how local populations working with competing interpretations from international agendas construct new environmental governance regimes, and how the scaling up of these regimes carries local norms of environmental management to the global level.