Slow Harms and Citizen Action: Environmental Degradation & Policy Change in Latin American Cities with Veronica Herrera
This event will be livestreamed on the CED Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/452650292
Presented by the Department of City and Regional Planning and Global Metropolitan Studies as part of the College of Environmental Design's lecture series.
Free and open to the Public.
Environmental harms have time horizons that differ across environmental policy arenas. Pollutant exposure typically involve slow moving, steady tempo events with long duration, and often become part of the everyday landscape. When and how do people mobilize around slow-moving harms in cities? Based on extensive field research including 180 interviews, this book analyzes variant levels of slow harms mobilization in three contaminated urban rivers basins: Buenos Aires, Argentina (high); Bogota, Colombia (moderate); Lima, Peru (weak). I argue that the presence of local activism and “embedded” policy entrepreneurs can lead to slow harms policy change. Policy entrepreneurs—both inside the state and in society—were most successful in achieving slow harms policy change when they were aligned with prior human rights movements that had successfully worked to end state sponsored political violence. My findings suggest that historical legacies of pre-existing movements may matter most for changing environmental concern in weak institutional settings.
Veronica Herrera is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA. She studies the politics of development in Global South cities with a focus on Latin America. Her research interests include urban politics, decentralization, civil society participation, social mobilization, and environmental politics and policymaking. Dr. Herrera is also an expert on water policy in international development. She is the author of Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico (University of Michigan Press, 2017), which received the Dennis Judd Best Book Award from the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Dr. Herrera received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Dr. Herrera is the recipient of several national awards including the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, a Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Clarence Stone Young Scholars Award from the American Political Science Association’s Urban and Local Politics Section. She has been a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, and the Latin American Studies Center at UC Berkeley. Dr. Herrera’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, PS: Political Science and Politics, Perspective on Politics, and World Development.
Photo: Pepe Mateos, 2017