Sustainable Development, the Press and Policy: A Q Study of Brazilian Policy Makers
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 18 - Issue 3/4 p. 121- 143
A Q study asked 54 Brazilian scientists, administrators and journalists to evaluate sustainable development definitions and concepts, the role of national, local and international institutions in the Amazon's development, specific public policies for the Amazon region and the role of the news media. Four factors emerged and were labeled Locally Oriented Idealists, Internationally Oriented Pragmatists, Regional Architects and Conservative. The findings suggest that respondents place the economic welfare of Amazonia's residents above all other considerations. Cultural stability and the environment are seen as integral components of regional planning, but public policy begins more with serving human beings than nature. The respondents' interpretation of sustainable development bears little resemblance to how it is perceived within the literature. All four factors also assert that the news media play a key role in public awareness of Amazonia's ecological and economic challenges. The study suggests that Amazonia is a fertile area to evaluate the delicate interactions among policy makers and journalists as they face geopolitical, economic, environmental and social policy issues and attempt to apply principles of sustainable development.