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Livio Miles Silva Muller.jpg

You can find some of my published work at Environmental Politics or Land Use Policy, view my cv, follow me on twitter, or drop me a message:

During the academic year 2023-4, I'll be visiting LSE's Department of Methodology.

All pictures in the website are from fieldwork in the Atlantic or Amazon Rainforest.


Hello! I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the Geneva Graduate Institute. My research agenda lies at the intersection of Environmental, Political, and Economic Sociologies. Conceptually, I’m interested in how environmental and redistributive policies emerge, gain support, and are contested in global and comparative perspective. Methodologically, I rely on various qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods such as in-depth interviews, surveys, text-as-data, and web-scrapping, among others.


My dissertation and book project, entitled “The Amazon as a Carbon Sink: how transnationalism makes and brakes climate change policy in Rainforest States?”, explores the transnational and domestic origins of state capacity in climate mitigation policies in rainforest states. This project relies on (i) in-depth interviews with policy elites, (ii) archival work, and (iii) a novel grant-level dataset on the financial income of diverse policy organisations scraped from multiple sources, and to process-trace the emergence and dismantling of deforestation policies in Brazil from 1985 to 2022. Empirically, I demonstrate how effective climate mitigation policy in Brazil was triggered by a group of transnationally connected technocrats, who developed policy solutions for climate change outside the state. They exploited a unique opportunity to implement these policies unilaterally, leading to a re-organisation of rural elites in Brazil. Theoretically, I combine political and environmental sociologies to provide a theory of environmental state capacity.


I also work as research assistant for Prof. Graziella Moraes Silva, in a Swiss National Science Foundation sponsored project entitled "Fear and Trust in Unequal Democracies: Elites and the Politics of Redistribution in the Global South" . In this project, we inquire how elites shape the politics of redistribution through two rounds of an original survey with random samples of CEOs, congresspeople, and high-level civil servants in Brazil and South Africa. Building on theories of elites and inequality, we posit a model that ties elite’s fear of the negative externalities of inequality and their trust in markets and voters, to how they yield power in support or against redistributive policies. The results of this research are being transformed in a book manuscript as well as multiple papers.

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