Neoliberalism and the environment in Latin America

Diana M. Liverman, Silvina Vilas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

176 Scopus citations


This review examines how neoliberal policies that include free trade and less government have altered environmental management of industry, forests, water, agricultural land, and fisheries in Latin America. We examine theories and case studies about the privatization and pricing of environmental services and common property resources, the environmental impacts of free trade, and the transfer of environmental management to local or nongovernmental institutions. We conclude that neoliberalism has had some profound influences on the environment and on environmental management in Latin America and that the implementation and impacts of neoliberal policies on local environments have varied greatly by nation and by place as a result of different political, institutional, economic, environmental, and social conditions. Although many studies of neoliberalism and environment paint a negative picture, there are places and people that have adapted well to and benefited from neoliberal policies. Unfortunately, judgments on the success of neoliberal policies are limited by data and by the lack of detailed and balanced case studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
EditorsPamela Matson, Daniel Kammen, Ashok Gadil
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
ISSN (Print)1543-5938


  • Free trade
  • Neoliberal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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