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Compliance and market exclusion in Brazilian agriculture: Analysis and implications for “soft” governance


“Soft” or “hybrid” governance holds considerable promise in attempts to reconfigure statemarket–
society relationships toward improved environmental outcomes. “Soft” governance processes in
Brazil’s globally competitive, high-input/output agriculture sector have major implications for landuse
policies. Here we identify and analyze two emergent processes, a compliance regime and bioregion-based
market exclusion approach, that stand out amid a background of conflicts between agricultural land uses
and environmental regulation. We address the effectiveness of “soft” governance, using a framework
that focuses on interactions among state and non-state actors, use of geographic information, relations
to global processes, and discourse. These policies may play an important role in bridging the divide
between environmental and agricultural interests, but market and state actors, and the uneven effects
of globalization, will influence effectiveness. Our framework for analyzing governance processes should
complement future work that directly measures environmental outcomes.