Indigenous Knowledge and the Rule of Law: Reflections from Brazil

In this paper, two sets of emblematic, policy-inflected cases from the past two decades (the 1990s and 2000s)­––one involving sustainable development projects and the other, agricultural crop varieties––are analyzed in an effort to document some of the complex processes through which the Brazilian federal government began to establish the “rule of law” over the issues of access to and use of indigenous knowledge and of ways of protecting if from expropriation by outside forces, a process which is far from complete.