Past Event

Water, Power and management in Ceará: The paradox of common-pool resources in developing countries

February 20, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Columbia University | New York

This is a presentation on the structuring of the Ceará model of water resources management, considered to be the most efficient in Brazil. It will be divided into three parts. In the first, I will describe the differences between the Ceará model and national policies, by focusing on territory, agency and decision making. In the second I will argue that the Ceará model was the outcome of a pragmatic alliance between five social forces that formed a political alliance against the “coroneis” in the 1980s election. In conclusion, I suggest that the model deteriorated to a situation of the tragedy of the commons. Such a paradox occurs when the independent agency that is to reinforce the rules of the game and oblige the implementation of accords between conflicting actors, becomes a player with interests, inducing a transition to non-cooperative interaction. During that period of a pre-Nasch equilibrium, there is a true threat of over cropping of common-pool resources. Moreover, I still argue that such a situation is becoming common on a global scale when government agencies become more focused on securing profits and financial returns rather than preserving common-pool resources.

Bio: Full professor of social sciences at the Federal University of Ceará and the Graduate Program in Sociology. Worked on telecom policy and the effect of globalization on development. I was twice a visiting scholar at Columbia University. He also did research on public and economic policies in Germany, Portugal, and California.