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Between redeemer and work of the devil: The transnational Brazilian biofuel discourse

Selbmann, K. and Ide, T.ORCID: 0000-0001-8401-2372 (2015) Between redeemer and work of the devil: The transnational Brazilian biofuel discourse. Energy for Sustainable Development, 29 . pp. 118-126.

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Biofuels have been the subject of heated political discussions, but also of a growing literature on discourses and environmental policies. Previous studies on the issue have, however, neglected the fact that the different discourses about on biofuels are increasingly crossing national boundaries, i.e., that there is a tendency toward transnationalization. In the light of this development the present article analyzes the transnational Brazilian biofuel discourse in the period 2005–2011 with a special emphasis on actors from Brazil, the EU and the USA. By conducting a discourse analysis along the lines of Hajer, five discourse coalitions can be distinguished, each providing a different view on the opportunities, problems and perspectives of biofuel production in Brazil. It is observed that the long-established hegemony of the discourse coalition of biofuel supporters was successfully challenged by a more critical position during the food crisis of 2007/2008. As a result, the discourse coalition of critical supporters—which was committed to sustainable biofuel production via political regulation—prevailed in the transnational Brazilian biofuel discourse and its position was translated into policy measures.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Copyright: © 2015 International Energy Initiative.
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