Livio Silva-Müller


PhD Researcher in Anthropology and Sociology
Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Spoken languages
Portuguese, English, German, French
Areas of expertise
  • Environmental policies, Climate Change governance, and Deforestation
  • International political sociology
  • Sociology of Elites
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Mixed methodologies
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Latin America



Who governs the Brazilian Amazon and what does transnational money have to do with it? Adopting a mixed-methodology, my dissertation relies on scrapped grant-level data and in-depth interviews to measure different types of ‘green money’ and their role in shaping  climate change governance in the Brazilian Amazon from 1990 to 2020. I explore how the historical evolution of material and ideational factors influence deforestation policy adoption, maintenance and outcomes today. Conceptually, this helps us unpack how transnational money changes the relationship between state, market, and civil society.

In previous research projects, I have investigated the practices of environmental street-level bureaucrats in payment for ecosystem services policy, as well as the role of civil society in the effectiveness of transnational partnerships inside protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Outside academia, I have worked at the UN Mozambique, different third sector organizations in Geneva and Brazil, as well as Oak Foundation.


Country of Origin: Brazil and Switzerland




Research Assistantship

I am a research assistant at the Elites & Inequality project, led by Prof. Graziella Moraes Silva. In this project, we contribute to the debate about elites and inequality by shifting the focus from how elites benefit from inequality to how elites may support redistributive policies in Brazil and South Africa. Combining novel survey data and in-depth interviews with elites (CEOs, parliamentarians, and top civil servants), we (1) estimate the average effects of perception on elite support for redistribution and (2) identify the cultural processes that enable this support.




Co-Supervisors: Prof. Graziella Moraes Silva & Prof. Grégoire Mallard

Expected Completion:  2024


Fellowships, grants and awards



Relevant Publications and Works