Maria-Therese Gustafsson; Roger Merino; Martin Scurrah · 2020
Environmental Policy and Governance, Vol. 30, Issue 5

Domestication of International Norms for Sustainable Resource Governance: Elite Capture in Peru

In recent years, international actors have promoted international norms related to sustainable and inclusive resource governance. However, we know little about how such attempts are contested and adapted in domestic reform processes. Drawing on insights from norm diffusion and institutionalist theories, this article traces how first bilateral aid agencies and then OECD have influenced the institutionalisation of a contested land-use planning (LUP) reform in Peru from 1990 until 2017. Based on 145 interviews and written primary sources, we demonstrate that aid agencies have partially empowered policy coalitions (e.g., civil society and subnational actors) in favour of LUP, whereas OECD's interventions have favoured national elites opposed to LUP. In both cases, we argue that by failing to foresee the political resistance among economic actors and national elites, international actors have contributed to the weakening and elite capture of LUP. Hence, our analysis represents a case of weakly institutionalized norms. The findings extend the existing literature on extractive governance by providing a fine-grained analysis of the process in which national elites and societal coalitions domesticate the institutionalisation of international norms for sustainable and inclusive resource governance. Our findings have broader implications for debates about extractive governance as well as policy strategies for promoting institutional change in resource-rich middle-income countries.

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Maria-Therese Gustafsson

Maria-Therese Gustafsson
Stockholm University

Maria-Therese Gustafsson is Assistant Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University. Prominent themes in her research are the impacts of global policies and private governance initiatives, on local communities in the Andean region and in Brazil. Empirically, she has focused on the extractive and climate governance, and more recently of the public and private governance initiatives in the supply chains of soy and beef from Brazil to selected European countries. She currently co-leads two research projects on new supply regulations and their implementation in the supply chains of beef and soy between Europe and Brazil. She has published articles in World Development, Third World Quarterly, WIRE’s Climate Change, Environmental Science and Policy, Global Environmental Politics, and the monography Private Politics and Peasant Mobilization: Mining in Peru (Palgrave).

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