Environmental Knowledge and Environmental Politics in Portugal: From Resistance to Incorporation


This article traces the development of environmentalism in Portugal, and particularly the role of environmental NGOs as producers of expert knowledge to be used in policy making. From its beginnings under an authoritarian regime when NGOs were banned, the Portuguese environmental movement started to professionalize in the 1980s, with the establishment of a technocratic pragmatism that sought to influence policy, rather than the consolidation of environmental activism into green political parties. European integration, which required Portugal to comply with environmental legislation and provided support for infrastructure projects and other measures, expanded environmentalism’s reach further. Although the financial crisis and austerity measures have raised questions about the state’s ability to pursue environmental policies, Portugal has nonetheless responded to the crisis in part through a transition to alternative energy.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7701