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Ambiente & Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 1414-753Xversão On-line ISSN 1809-4422

Ambient. soc. vol.19 no.3 São Paulo jul./set. 2016 






2Bachelor in Tourism. PhD student in Environment and Regional Development at Anhanguera University-UNIDERP. Member of PLANGED-TUR Research Group.

3Biologist. Professor PhD of Postgraduate Program in Environment and Regional Development at Anhanguera University-UNIDERP.

4Biologist. Professor PhD of Postgraduate Program in Environment and Regional Development at Anhanguera University-UNIDERP.


The Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark was created by State edict in 2009, but its implementation and effective operation still depend on investments and actions. The public resources for investments are limited, and the private sector will invest if the State assures that the enterprise will be stable and profitable. This survey aims to analyze the convergences and divergences among public policies that occurs in the Geopark site. The method employed was the analysis by an adaptation of the MACTOR Method verifying implicit and explicit policies goals. The results indicate that most policies have common goals and are converging, although they are not always clear. In conclusion, the Geopark is a new demand for the government, that is linked to recurring and suppressed demands regarding regional development, and this policies converge among each other, if executed properly, can contribute to the Geopark implementation, which will act as a driving force to the regional development.

Keywords: Strategic Goals; Regional Development; Game of Policies; State of Mato Grosso do Sul


Se ha creado Geopark Bodoquena-Pantanal por medio de un decreto estadual en 2009, pero su implantación y operación efectivas aún dependen de inversiones y acciones. Los recursos públicos para inversiones son limitados, y la iniciativa privada solamente investirá donde la presencia del Estado garantice estabilidad y retorno. El objetivo de este trabajo ha sido analizar las convergencias y divergencias entre las políticas públicas que ocurren en el espacio físico de Geopark. Los resultados muestran que aunque las políticas ni siempre presenten objetivos claros, o haya divergencias entre ellas, en su mayoría ellas convergen para objetivos comunes. Se ha concluido que Geopark es una nueva demanda para el gobierno que se junta a las demandas recurrentes y reprimidas en el desarrollo regional, y que tales políticas convergentes, si efectivamente ejecutadas, pueden contribuir para la implementación de Geopark, que servirá como fuerza motriz en el desarrollo regional.

Palabras-clave: Objetivos Estratégicos; Desarrollo Regional, Juego de las Políticas; Mato Grosso do Sul


The lack of financial and institutional resources to invest in sustainable development has permeated the discussions between governments in the past few decades. The conflicts in the Conference of the United Nations on Sustainable Development, held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, showed that the limited resources is a concern that brings uncertainty globally. And when it comes to local levels, where the scarcity of resources is just one of the variables that influences decision-making, we have to make the choice about which places and proposals should receive attention and strategic investments.

Located in Mato Grosso do Sul, the Bodoquena-Pantanal State Geopark is an example of an area that will require investments to be effectively implemented and, consequently, receive the seal of the United Nations for Education Organization, Science and Culture (UNESCO) as an integral geopark of the global network. With international recognition, are expected social, economic and environmental benefits, with long-term impacts, to encourage and guide the sustainable development of the region (CPRM-SGB, 2010).

The geopark term was debated for the first time in 1996, in the Geology Congress in Beijing. Germany, France, Greece and Spain, idea proponents, and that later on would propose the creation of an European geopark network, it had in common the need to boost the development of rural areas, with serious social and economic problems, and high geological potential. In Brazil, the geoparks are aggregated by the Geoparks Project that is under the auspices of Brazil Geological Service. According to UNESCO

The geopark consists in a territory with well-defined limits that submit geological sites of special scientific value. In addition to the geological significance, a geopark must also present ecological, archeological, historical or cultural values inserted into a process of sustainable development that foments educational projects and the enhancement of local cultural heritage (CPRM-SGB, 2010).

This concept understands that the geological characteristics can not be unlinked, for the purposes of exploitation, social, economic, environmental and cultural development of the territory to which it belongs (MATO GROSSO DO SUL, 2012). The geoparks do not fall into any unit category provided by SNUC, and thus, its territory has a wide range of economic and social activities, such as urban areas, indigenous lands, agricultural production, preservation and conservation areas.

The Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark presents a diversity of geosites of geological and paleontological interests with varying levels of interest. As examples of geosites of great geological interest, we can mention the Anhumas Abyss, with cavity of 72 meters associated to the Bocaina formation, which ends in a hall with an underground lake that has submerged limestone cones of up to 19 meters. On the other hand, the Corumbella geosite, is a scarp of about 10 meters supported by limestones of Tamengo Formation which presents the fossil Corumbella werneri. With about 580 million years old, it is considered very important to investigate the early stages of the life evolution on the planet from the Ediacaran period (MATO GROSSO DO SUL, 2012).

The estimated population of the Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark territory is 265 thousand people, about 10% of the population from Mato Grosso do Sul State (IBGE, 2011). Although not working in its totality as a geopark, it is admittedly an area of public and private interest, in its social, economic and environmental dimensions and, consequently, receiving attention and investment from both sides.

In the case of Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark, the intention is that its implementation, as a public policy, can be a driving force in the development of the state and the municipalities involved. For this, and even for not having a framework as a conservation unit and, therefore use of rules and control investments, need of resources to its structure and to expand studies on its territory, in order to identify areas that can induce development as a whole.

In this study, which aims to identify and analyze differences and similarities of public policies development that occur in the Geopark physical space, it's assumed that the higher the number of policies and common objectives, the greater is the possibility of achieving a regional development, through the State's action and the encouraging private investment, because you can not expect that the private sector acts where the State is not present to provide basic conditions for investments.

The prospect was to note if the policies and policy objectives in Federal and State scope converge to achieve the objectives for the Geopark, and consequently, attract more investment, both public and private, actually inducing the development.

Public policy and the induction of regional development

The study of public policies emerged as a subfield of political science around the year 1960, based on the need to define, analyze and understand the actions of governments, above all, the stable and democratic governments.

In the brief definition of DYE (1984), public policy is what the government chooses to do or not to do. Shortly after, PETERS (1986) explains that public policy is understood as the activities of governments that influence the life of citizens, making understand that, in addition to seeing the public policy as the government's choice or action, it is necessary to remember that these choices have impacts on society.

LITTLE (2003, p. 18), explains the concept of public policy as the "[...] conjunct of interrelated decisions, defined by political actors which has as purpose the planning, the regulation and the control of the public goods". This definition is corroborated by RUA (1998), who considers that public policies "include all the decisions and actions related to the mandatory allocation of values", understanding that the decisions, aside from order and impact the society and its environment by the action in itself, involves the commitment of resources that, when limited, prevent the implementation of other actions.

In general, the authors who deals with the definition of public policies agree that this can be understood as decisions and actions of governments and the impacts caused by them, since governments are responsible for the welfare of society, considered its main objective.

If governments are responsible for the society and its territory, every implemented action in this territory, for this society, by government decision, is a public policy. Therefore, when making a choice by a particular action, a public policy is being made and when this choice is for not to do, called non-action, or as sets RUA (1998) "no decision" can also be considered a form of public policy.

The "no decision" doesn't relate itself, in this case, with the absence of decision, but it relates with the decision of not to include an issue on the political agenda. Once taken the no decision, failing to meet a demand, or choosing one or the other subject as a priority, it will also impact on society.

According to DAL BOSCO (2008)

Understanding public policy involves deciphering the power that is concentrated in the hands of government actors, check the constitutional design of each State as regards the responsibilities given to each one to decide the actions to be practiced, and also those that will not be considered (2008, p.244).

It can be understood that when it concerns to public policies, there is no omission but choice. Choice to prioritize or to include in the agenda certain issues over others. It can occur for several reasons, such as lack of resources, demands little expressives or resulting from groups with little power of political pressure, non-compliance with the adopted policy platform, misinformation on the subject, among others.

According to RUA (1998), in general, all policies are geared to meet any type of demand, existing three basic types: the new, the recurrent and the repressed.

The new demands are those that come with a situation, condition or problem that didn't exist before, as a new epidemic or a natural disaster. The recurrents are those that received an inadequate solution, or have not received any solution over the time, and are always coming back to the political debate. Conversely, the repressed are those composed by "states of things" or "no decision", the ones that bother a specific group of people and generate dissatisfaction, without getting to be an item of the political agenda. This repressed demand is the main reason for "no decision", since it doesn't come to be the priority (RUA, 1998). Oftentimes this demand meets cultural or institutional barriers that prevent it from the agenda of political discussion for a long period.

The general idea of public policies is that they may serve as a State instrument, being used by democratic governments to meet the demands that are within its competence, whether there are geared to small interest groups or to the society as a whole.

SOUSA (2006) says

The formulation of public policies constitutes the stage in which democratic governments translate their purposes and electoral platforms in programs and actions that will produce results or changes in the real world (2006, p.26).

SOUSA (2006) considers that every decision, or "no decision", of the governments meet the demands of society, but also reflect the electoral platforms that brought it to power. Although translating these platforms or purposes of political groups, in theory, public policies are agents of spatial and social changes much more stable in the sense that, once the decision is taken, it's more difficult to give it up or to make major changes in its course.

This statement is supported again by RUA (1998), when the author explains that

The public policies are "public" and not private or only collectives. Its "public" dimension is given not by the social aggregate size in which it affects, but by its "imperative" character. This means that one of its main features is the fact that they are coated decisions and actions of the sovereign authority of the public power (1998, p. 233).

This character imperative, necessary and most stable of public policies can be observed and enhanced when these are translated, for example, laws, plans, or programs. These documents, when approved and implemented, take shape and place within the scope of the public administration, triggering processes that, though not totally free, are more resistant to changes caused by electoral motivations or partisan ideologies, since it commits public agents, community and financial resources in the medium and long term, under the responsibility of the State and not the the public agent itself.

To DAL BOSCO (2008), the public policy

[...] characterize itself as a process of choice of the means to achieve the objectives of an administration, involving the participation of public and private actors, even though it is materialized through an action plan, which has the law as a normative instrument (2008, p. 247).

Many public policies are translated in the form of laws that require further regulations to grant that they can be effectively implemented. But either regulated or not, these policies in the form of laws, and not only them, open a way to the development of plans and programs that define actions in a clearly way, elucidating as well, the goals that are intended to achieve, thus facilitating the comprehension of its purpose.

RUA (1998) states that the public policy does not always distinguish its decision and implementation processes, which make the programs and plans of development processes more stable and transparent for the understanding and evaluation. But even the plans and programs are not the guarantee of effectivity in ensuring the implementation of the public policy because they themselves can be confusing or contradictory to each other, depending on how they interact and what goals they seek. This happens because:

(a) new initiatives can involve changes that affect the ongoing activities, with which they might conflict; (b) many areas and policy sectors are dominated by government agencies that take intraorganizational decisions about how to make compatible the new programs with the old ones; and, (c) the Executive branch dominates the government system and legislate in many ways, and only some aspects of these decisions appear as specific acts of the Congress (RUA, 1998, p. 253).

This makes the stage of evaluation and implementation even more complex and difficult, especially considering that

Eventually, this complexity is deliberated, in other words, in some cases, the formulated policies can only have the purpose of allowing the politicians to offer to the public symbolic satisfactions, without any real intention of implementing them (RUA, 1998, 254).

Public policies are the tools by which the Constitutional State seeks to ensure that its actions reach all efficiently and effectively, thus setting the completion of its largest duty, which is to promote social welfare, and carry with them the burden of being important agents of transformation of the space, that influence the actions that occur in this area (RUA, 1998).

And if policies are the instruments of action, or even the actors in a given territory,

Why starting from the premise that only an actor plans, without other members of the system oppose, resist or also formulate their own plans? Why limit the diagnosis to one objective explanation, when it is clear that the various components of society have different opinions on their status, on the causes of the given state and about the desirable future? (MATUS, 1993, p. 42).

Bearing in mind the statement of Matus (1993), it presupposes the need to analyze the conflicts crashed by the different public policies, in order to identify its similarities and differences, making it possible to know how those public policies, working together in the same territory, may effectively promote their development or make this territory only to serve as an arena for demonstration and clashes.

Methodological Procedures

The study area is the territory of Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark, located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, created by the State Decree 12,897, on December 22nd of 2009, with a physical area of approximately 39,700 km2, covering the entire territory of the municipalities Bodoquena, Bonito and Ladário, and partially Anastácio, Aquidauana, Bela Vista, Caracol, Corumbá, Gui Lopes da Laguna, Jardim, Miranda, Nioaque and Porto Murtinho (Figure 1), the Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark pierces three major biomes: the Pantanal, Cerrado and the Atlantic forest.

Figure 1: Map of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul containing the limits of Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark.  

Whereas the Geopark is not a conservation unit, and its full operation presupposes, in addition to geoconservation, the promotion of sustainable development with involvement of the local community, for the purpose of this research was used only public policies in order to induce development, and with emphasis of the principles of sustainability, the result of the State and the Union's presence in the Geopark territory through planned actions in the medium and long term, implemented or not in the form of policies, plans, programs, or other official publication with this goal.

To achieve the objectives of this work, made between April and August 2014, we performed an analysis of the convergences and divergences of some of the public policy development that occurs in the Geopark territory, using an adaptation of the MACTOR method by Michel Godet (1993). The method originally meant as "actors" the institutions, companies, entities, associations among others. And there is no specific recommendation on how to choose them, but must be directly related to the problem/object of study, and should not exceed 20 actors, given that a very large number can cause confusion and hamper a direct analysis of the relationship among the items assessed, a number between 10 and 20 is the ideal. For the adaptation performed in this work, instead of actors institutions it was used as actors the public policy.

The methodological procedures were divided into two stages: identification and ranking of public policies. The first step was the identification of these policies at the federal and state level, held in April 2014 through the analysis of official documents that make up the policies, plans and government programs of regional development induction with the bias of sustainable development. At that time, was excluded the policies with particular bias for the areas of security, health, education, among others, and also policies without full official documents available.

This survey was conducted through consultations on official websites of federal ministries, such as the Environment and the National Integration, and state departments such as Production and Tourism and Environment, Cities, Planning and Science and Technology, among others. And also through consultations with state government agencies responsible for planning and/or execution of these policies such as the Environmental Institute of Mato Grosso do Sul and Tourism Foundation.

With the identified policies, it was necessary to rank them in order to get the most relevant in the context of the local Geopark development. To reach this ranking, that was held in May 2014, a direct consult to the twenty-six components institutions of Bodoquena-Pantanal management council, through its members, asking them to be displayed, within the relation of the twenty-one public policies initially raised, policies, plans or programs that were more relevant to the local Geopark development, indicating whether the item in question was very relevant, relevant or less relevant.

The consulted ones also had the option to freely appoint up to three state policies and three federal policies that were not on the initial list. This topic of the questionnaire was necessary, given the difficulty of obtaining policies already developed and in progress, both at federal and state level, because not always the documents are available for consultation.

At the end of this process, ten policies were identified as the ones to be worked within the policies that received greater weight and degree of relevance. The second stage of the study consisted of an analysis of their similarities and differences, through the MACTOR method. The method is used to analyze the theory of the game of actors and tests the idea that any essay on the future, with a minimum of reliability, should take into account the strategic choices made by the actors that act on particular space, since planning is not static and is subject to the objectives of who acts and how these actors and their goals are related.

This method contributes to put metrics in the planning analyzes from the perspective of "Strategic Forward", printing them a character more objective than subjective.

Thus, it was analyzed the set of development policies through its strategic objectives, which consisted of: 1) construction of the strategic framework of policies; 2) identification of strategic policy objectives; 3) positioning of each of the policies in the different objectives, analyzing their convergences and divergences; 4) hierarchy of objectives; 5) assessment of the relative strengths between the policies; and 6) discussion of results.

The political game analysis results

Strategic framework of policies and the identification of its goals

As the following methodological procedure presented state policies were selected: creation of Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark decree; Tourism Action Plan Bonito-Bodoquena Mountains; Tourism Action Plan Pantanal; Integrated Development Border Plan (PDIF-MS); Regional Development Plan of Mato Grosso do Sul (PDR 2010-2030); Tourism Development Program (PRODETUR Bodoquena Mountain); and Land Management Program (PGT). Also the national policies were selected: National Plan for Low Carbon Agriculture (Plan ABC); National Plan of Sanitation (PLANSAB); National and Regional Development Policy.

The development policies worked in here are recent. Only one of them is from the year 2005, with the others taking publication year ranging from 2009 to 2013. This shows that they are at an early stage or in full period of implementation, considering that includes a time horizon of medium to long term.

These policies were first analyzed in a matrix entitled "Policies Strategy" (Chart 1), where the main objective of each one was identified, be it explicit or implicit, besides its problems, exercised and receiver pressures from other policies and, when possible, its means of implementation.

Chart 1 Summary of the matrix "Policies Strategy": Identification of the main objective, problems and means of implementation of each policy and the respective pressure it can exert on others. 

First, it was noticed that almost half of them does not present clear objectives or explicit targets, as might be expected in a formal policy, that wants to serve a specific purpose, because according to DAL BOSCO (2006 ) public policy can be considered the way chosen by the management to translate its goals. But if these are not clear, it can be expected that its materialization will be impaired. This observation, by itself, is already considered as a problem, which makes it difficult to measure the scope of these policies.

As for the other problems, we highlight those that are recurrent among the items: areas of operation not set yet, little or no scientific knowledge of the area of ​​operation, when this has been defined, uncertainty about the relationship between the various folders responsible for execution and difficulty of accession of the population.

It was also noticed that only 25% of the analyzed policies depict the means by which they intend to achieve the objectives. This limits the third point, which was to identify the action or pressure that each policy can have on all others. Where this observation was possible is understand, in most cases, the relationship between folders is the key to its implementation (Chart 1).

It was observed that the PDR 2010-2030, being the guiding policy development in Mato Grosso do Sul, is the one that has the greatest potential to influence others. Even watching the federal policies, only for the PLANSAB, it shows neutral.

State policies, the only ones that would have the least potential to influence or pressure the others are the Territorial Management Plan and PRODETUR - Bodoquena Mountain, as are policies with specific objects or very limited areas, which are more likely to be influenced the opposite.

At the federal level, the National Policy for Regional Development showed little power pressure. While it is a policy with strong indication of the bias of social development, it is among those with the action territories, objectives and means without specific focus, making it difficult to identify exactly where it will work and how it will impact the area and its surroundings.

Political relations x objectives and hierarchization of objectives

In the analysis of the documents that make up the selecte policies, its objectives were identified by selecting both the explicit goals (official objectives expressed in the documents), as the implicit goals (expressions of the official text showing where to get or what to achieve with certain policy), being defined twenty-six. Then it was tried to position each policy in each of the different objectives, in order to analyze their similarities and differences. To this was built a MPO Matrix - Policies x Objectives (Table 1).

Table 1 Policies Matrix x Goals - MPO 

In this exercises, it was found that the formal policies, even with different objectives, does not differ between each other. This was expected, since all are prepared by the State and/or the Union, and seek, in a certain way to achieve the major objectives of development, social welfare, economic growth, sustainability and planning of the public good (Little, 2003).

Convergence or neutrality policy in relation to each objective was based on its design as a whole. Some have equal explicit objectives, others bring implicit in the text, ideas that converge with the goals of others. Already neutrality is identified when the policy makes no mention of intent to corroborate with the objectives spelled out by others.

The fact of absence of differences between them does not mean at all that there is agreement of all policies with respect to all the objectives. What we see is that, depending on the purpose and scope of action, they can become neutral face to the objectives of others. On the one hand, it can be predicted that there will not be clashes between them, but on the other, it is possible that a policy does not find enough strength to complete your goals, since the observed means tend to the relationship between folders, which have in their agendas other policies and objectives as a priority.

MPO matrix (Table 1) allowed the observance of the hierarchy of the objectives raised. Once the goal counts with the agreement of most policies, it has a greater chance of being achieved, given that efforts to achieve them have different policies and responsible government agencies. MPO matrix indicates the position of each policy for each identified goal, where: 1 = policy agrees with the objective (convergence); -1 = Policy disagrees with the objective (divergent); 0 = policy is neutral in relation to the objective (neutrality).

The objectives presented below are those with the highest number of convergences among the ten observed policies (considering that more than half of the policies converge on the goal). They are those with greater adhesion, one can understand that they are also the ones that have greater chances of being achieved.

  • Improve infrastructure: all ten policies observed understand the infrastructure as a bottleneck which limits regional development, and consequently as a bottleneck to achieving other important goals.

  • Guide the sustainable exploitation of natural resources; qualify the manpower and; promote social inclusion: nine of the ten policies observed agree with these three objectives. Checks that are complementary objectives, once that sustainable exploitation of natural resources and social inclusion are recurrent guidelines on policies that work for balanced and sustainable development. The classification, it is noteworthy that the various policies point it as fundamental, both in the labor qualification in the market, as the qualification of civil servants, to improve the services provided.

  • Adopt management practices and production that are more sustainable; promote economic development and; encourage APLs, diversification and strengthening of productive chains: they appear with eight convergent policies for themselves and deal above all, economic development, and in some ways to achieve it in a more sustainable way of environmental and social point of view.

  • Develop poor areas with low potential to receive private investment: the development policies, while product of the State, must meet one of its main purposes, which is the social welfare, particularly from communities and poorer regions. This goal is contemplated explicitly or implicitly in at least seven of the observed policies.

  • To promote institutional strengthening; increase the interaction between public and private power and; create and strengthen information systems: the first objective of this "block" has the agreement of seven of the ten policies, while others have six. These convergences recognize the need to improve the quality of government actions, and reflect the concern to ensure, through public policies, that this improvement is achieved. It is understood that embed these goals in development policies is a real concern that without internal organization, you cannot implement them.

Almost all the goals that show more convergences have the agreement of public policy establishing the Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark. This policy showed only neutral in the face of institutional strengthening, emphasizing that neutrality does not mean disagreement.

This can mean a big boost in the Geopark implementation, once they identify different objectives, included in various policies, occurring in its territory. These policies can be used to assist or even act as a driving force for its development, without necessarily relying on their resources, whether financial, material or human, who are scarce, and thus limiting the number of actions.

The relative strengths among policies

The elaboration of the Policies matrix x Policies - MPP (Table 2) allowed to observe how policies are individually relate to each other through the concordances or neutrality comparison in each of the goals. This matrix indicates the individual relationship of a policy with another, in the face of each goal, providing the total number of convergences that have between each other.

Table 2 Policies matrix x Policies - MPP 

The first observation that is made in the MPP matrix is that although there are twenty-six goals for the analysis, the largest number of concordances observed is fourteen. That is, when observing only the goals from the perspective side, one can find full convergence in some cases, but when looking at the relationship between two policies, they will converge in a little more than half of the goals.

This individual relationship among the policies that have strong convergences between them is shown in Figure 2, which highlights relations with the five highest levels of convergences found.

Figure 2 Convergences chart among policies. Explicit policies that have greater convergences among themselves as well as the degree of convergences. 

The first highlight in the objectives of hierarchy stage is the absence of PDIF/MS, PLANSAB and National Policy for Regional Development, in the convergences chart (Figure 2). These three policies do not appear with relevant levels of convergence. Both PDIF/MS and the National Policy for Regional Development are within the average, with eight convergences peaks, but with the majority between six and seven. Already PLANSAB presents a peak of six convergences, but keeping up with an average of five and reaching the minimum of three.

However, the fact that seven of the 10 policies are find in the convergences figure demonstrates a mutual aid trend towards the objectives of most of the analyzed policies. Even unintentionally, the policies envision similar purposes, which makes a greater strength and resources used to reach it.

Among these seven policies note that the Plan ABC is the one that less converges with the others. But his posture and objectives can be strategic to some of the policies in order to work for the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases, through deforestation reduction and adoption of sustainable management in agriculture. Being Mato Grosso do Sul state and the Geopark territory, important areas of agricultural production, there is a trend in collaboration in the goals, even in an unintentionally way.

However, it is necessary to point out that up to this moment, the major limiting factor in the Plan ABC lies in the fact that they have not mapped the strategic regions of operation yet. That is, theoretically acts in areas of national interest, but can not be considered an absolute truth that will act exactly on the Geopark territory.

Other policies that deserve attention in the convergences chart are the PRODETUR and the PGT, who demonstrated in the analysis of the strategic framework (Table 1), exert less pressure in relation to other policies. Here, PRODETUR is the policy that appears with the strongest convergences, linking to the two tourism action plans that are directly in their field of action, and the decree of the Geopark creation, which houses the region focus of the PRODETUR and which will work, ultimately, with visitation through geotourism. Conversely the PGT, while not presenting the strongest bonds, is one of the two policies that have the largest number of interlocking connections, connecting to all others.

Finally, it is observed the decree of the Geopark creation, which showed excellent convergence, connecting to all other policies, at all levels. This is a very positive observation, considering that the territory focus of this work is from the geopark. The two-way road that forms on its convergence with the objectives of other policies, and the corroboration of other policies with the goals that presents for itself, strengthens the idea of ​​implementation and it leaves aligned with the direction of development paths for the region.

Considerations about the Game of Policies

It was noted in this study that these policies did not show differences among themselves with regard to their strategic objectives. What has been identified, besides the convergences, were neutral positions between one and another, in specific objectives. In terms of policy it is very important, because it shows that they do not necessarily compete for power or prestige, although at some point, can affirm themselves as representatives of special interest groups. The fact that they are developing policies, in other words, focused on a theme or specific physical area, helps to ensure that objectives are mostly convergents.

If there is no disagreement among its objectives, it is possible to think that the most emblematic struggle that political will hang takes place in the field of competition for resources, given that it will all be performed by the public power, mostly with public money and that the financial resource is limited, especially for investments with long-term return goals.

Anyway, the convergence of objectives allows to suggest that, even if resources are directed to a few of these policies, the other ones will benefit, and will have even some of its goals achieved given the convergence that its design has with the others.

However, the statement that there are no divergences is valid only among the analyzed policies, not allowing saying that there are no divergences or conflicts with other policies, especially the non-formal ones. Most of the state policies reviewed here follow a verticalization of federal policies or broader state policies. And not all of these policies that serve as guiding for other policies are expressed in official documents, because as stated by RUA (1998) not always the policies go through the planning (decision) and implementation process in a different manner. This makes it difficult to know their area of ​​expertise, scope and even its strategic objectives. Moreover, it is necessary to count with the so-called "no decision", understood as the government's decision in not to act in a certain area (RUA, 1998).

A relevant example in this case would be the one from the economic policy, in which there is usually no official and documented guidance about how the country or state economy will be lead. What exists is a set of decisions and actions in many sectors that guides the adopted economic policy. In this particular case, it could be possible to find divergences, since the economic dimension shows support from very strong interest groups and often a relation of forces, finishes by pressing in a negative way purely social or environmental policies.

To include this type of policy in the convergences and divergences analysis would find at least two major difficulties. The first is in to establish if the set of decisions taken in a given segment form in fact a government policy or if they are just a random set of actions implemented in times of crisis to meet a specific demand. Second, even if these policies have been identified, the fact that they are not formal or unofficial, makes them very unstable, not allowing to know the time frame to which they correspond, or even if there will be continuity in the courses adopted or if will occur abrupt changes of directions pursuant to new demands, pressure from interest groups or even party-political interests.

All analyzes, performed here, are relevant to check the alignment of the strategic objectives of development for the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, considering that all the policies described here, whatever the means employed or carried out associations, work to meet their goals. Especially in the case of policies in which these objectives and those means are not clear, there is always the risk of becoming the case of the symbolic satisfaction of governments to the demands submitted to it without, however, employing efforts in its effective implementation.

An example can be given with relation to the goal that got one hundred percent of convergence of the reviewed policies: improving the infrastructure. This idea permeates all ten policies, in a more discreet or more incisively manner. However, none of them allows you to identify who, how, and with what resources will be made ​​infrastructure actions. Strictly speaking, it is not possible to identify even, which actions or sectors would be contemplated.

Apart from these problems arising from unclear objectives, uncertainty about the territories of action, means and resources to the implementation, these policies are still not fundamental to demonstrate the State's presence and its commitment to the development of the territory. Expressions like to promote, strengthen, coordinate, support and encourage are recurrent in the analyzed development policies, and can demonstrate the State's intention, within its possibilities, to attract private investment, which only tend to occur in places where the State's presence creates return possibilities of the investments.

Final Considerations

Development policies presented in this article are recent, and the analysis that was made on its power play, it is possible to say that it will not have major conflicts while living together in the same territory and at the same time.

Much of the state policies derived from federal or even broader state policies, resulting in convergent alignment of its goals. However, the policies are not always expressed in official documents, and the informal decisions, or the "no decisions", for not having goals, deadlines and well defined means of execution, limits the analysis, not allowing with certainty that there will be conflicts.

Even the official policies do not follow any kind of standardization. This is not to require ready scripts, but to contain basic items that allows a clearly display of its intentions, such as goals, area of ​​operation, means, deadlines and the responsible ones for the implementation and funding sources. In addition, some policies, such as the creating decree of the geopark case, involves within the same idea and purpose, territories with very different development interests and levels, which could affect the implementation of the policy, and especially the achievement of its goals.

Even with the limitations presented above, it is clear that the existing convergences can contribute to achieve the Geopark goals and hence, its effective implementation.

It is important to stress that the methodology employed, based on the adaptation of MACTOR method, transforming the game of actors in a political game, opens the way for a new form of public policy analysis, considering them not only as instruments of political actors, but as active parties in regional development.

Finally, we could still identify the Bodoquena-Pantanal Geopark as a new demand for the government, since its design was not presented before to the state government. But the characteristics that make up the Geopark concept, this new demand is tied to the pent-up demand of socio-economic development of the region and also to the geoconservation applicant demand of the "newly discovered" points of geological and paleontological interest in this territory.

These demands not unlinked may have received only a temporary satisfaction of the government with the Geopark creation, but it is a fact of great importance for various groups of interest, which converges with the goals of many of the official development policies, and it shows great ability to pull the development of this region to a new path, focusing on the regional sustainability.


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1Special thanks to Support Education Foundation, Science and Technology of Mato Grosso do Sul State (FUNDECT) and CAPES, for granting the PhD scholarship.

Received: November 30, 2014; Accepted: June 30, 2015

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