Converging Divergence: the Diffusion of the Green State in Latin America

  • José Carlos OrihuelaEmail author


Global processes of policy diffusion result in different types of state development. A broad view of environmentalist reform in Latin America easily reads as top-down diffusion of blueprints and institutional convergence. But such a thesis is reductionist and ultimately misleading, case studies demonstrate. First, diffusion mechanisms matter for divergence: when normative and mimetic mechanisms are relatively strong vis-à-vis coercive forces, formal state change is followed by more meaningful real state change; when the coercive mechanism rules unmatched, green state change ends up being formal for the most part. Secondly, institutional entrepreneurs face shifting opportunity structures for political change; because these opportunities are never uniform, national experiences will differ. Thirdly, national institutional environments provide contrasting domestic resources and cultures for the building of green states; legacy, in short, will condition translation by entrepreneurs. A bridging institutionalist framework helps us make sense of “converging divergence”.


Diffusion Global blueprints Green state Institutional entrepreneurs Institutionalisms 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de EconomíaPontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPeru

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