Master of Arts in Political Science
Dennis Pirages, Committee Chair
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
This study examines the ability of democratic and non-democratic states alike to protect the environment. Democracy has long been an important concept in the study of politics and environmental protection is an increasingly important issue in world politics. Advocates of democracy claim democratic states are better able to protect the environment than non-democracies. In contrast there are those that argue democracy's emphasis on individual rights leads to excessive resource consumption. This thesis employs a mixed methods approach to determine if democratic countries protect the environment more than their non-democratic counterparts. In short democracies do protect the environment better than non-democracies but certain conditions must be met. It is argued that democracy is a necessary but not sufficient condition to ensure greater environmental protection. This study restricts analysis to Latin America which allows for a more focused and detailed analysis of cases with various levels of democracy. This allows for greater inspection as to the effect the institutions have on environmental protection.
Brazil; Chile; Costa Rica; Democracy; Environmental protection; Guatemala; Latin America; Military regimes; Political institutions; Politics; Semi-democratic states
Comparative Politics | Environmental Health and Protection | Political Science
Escamilla, Javier Albert, "Democracy and the environment in Latin America" (2009). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 115.