IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Institutional Subversion And Deforestation: Learning Lessons From The System For The Environmental Licencing Of Rural Properties In Mato Grosso

Listed author(s):
  • Raoni Rajão
  • Andrea Azevedo
  • Marcelo C. C. Stabile
Registered author(s):

    SUMMARY This article contributes to the public administration and environmental governance literature by proposing the notion of ‘institutional subversion’ as a way of describing how the strategies adopted by local actors may change and even go against the initial aims of institutional development initiatives. The article discusses the case of the system for the environmental licencing of rural properties (SLAPR), an institutional development initiative by the state government of Mato Grosso in the south‐eastern portion of the Brazilian Amazon. It will be shown that even though this initiative has earned the status of ‘best practice’ in controlling deforestation, a closer look at SLAPR reveals that it has led to contradictory outcomes. During the first 8 years of SLAPR, it had no significant impact on reducing deforestation and, in some cases, even permitted the increase of total deforestation by providing authorization for this. According to an institutional analysis of the case study, the article draws particular conclusions that could be relevant to public administrators in the region and in other countries. In particular, it is argued that by accepting the possibility of institutional subversion, public administrators may become more attentive to unexpected consequences and be able to take corrective action. Furthermore, in order to avoid institutional subversion, public administrators should integrate institutional initiatives into broader governmental, technological and economical dimensions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Public Administration & Development.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 229-244

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:wly:padxxx:v:32:y:2012:i:3:p:229-244
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:padxxx:v:32:y:2012:i:3:p:229-244. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.