The democratic transition and constitutional reforms in Brazil raised hopes that critical environmental challenges and egregious social deficits could finally be remedied through law, but political and legal legacies, fragmentation among actors, and disarticulation between and within institutions and between the state and citizens have complicated this transformation. Examination of the emerging role of the courts and the law in promoting social rights and environmental protection in the water and sanitation sectors in São Paulo reveals how long-standing urban problems are reified or altered through legal means. It also shows that ongoing challenges have prompted a search for new, proactive strategies of coordination, tested old assumptions about state/society relationships, and provoked broader conversations about difficult socioeconomic and political questions at the heart of creating sustainable, just societies.
- Environmental law
- Human rights
- Urban livability
- Water and sanitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science