An Endless Endeavor : The Evolution and Challenges of Multi-Level Coastal Governance in the Global South

We used Brazil as a Global South case study to analyze the evolution of the coastal governance in a young and still unstable democracy. Based on twenty-five years of documentation related to a federal-level actor interaction hub named Coastal Management Integration Group (GIGERCO) we explored the opportunity context for the transformation of the Brazilian coastal governance system using a Theory of Transformative Agency to identify five periods of evolution. The coastal governance system shifted from an exploitation to a conservation phase (periods 1 to 3), where an increasing number of actors were getting to know the system and each other’s interests turned into a moment of higher stability and resistance to change. The mobilization of social capital and higher heterogeneity of actors allowed novel strategies to emerge, generating opportunities for structural changes from a conservation towards a release phase (period 4). We argue that the recent political changes in Brazil caused a rupture in such a flourishing coastal governance process (period 5), which is now at a critical juncture that may unfold into one of three envisioned alternative scenarios: conservative regime, a new integrated and ecosystem-based regime, or a remanent of past regime properties. Our paper informs coastal governance processes across the world, highlighting the dynamic nature of the interplay between alternative institutional entrepreneurship strategies, opportunity contexts, and innovations in governance systems.

Keywords: theory of transformative agency; Brazil; coastal zone

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Autores: Leandra R. Gonçalves, Leopoldo C. Gerhardinger, Marcus Polette e Alexander Turra

Citação: Gonçalves, L.R.; Gerhardinger, L.C.; Polette, M.; Turra, A. An Endless Endeavor: The Evolution and Challenges of Multi-Level Coastal Governance in the Global South. Sustain. 2021, 13.


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