This article focuses on one common transnational NGO strategy, the boomerang strategy. In this strategy, Southern NGOs seek international allies to help them pressure their states from outside. The article uses a case study of a transnational mobilization against a water superhighway or “Hidrovia” in the La Plata River basin in South America to develop arguments about the long term impacts of throws of the boomerang. I argue that what happens after the boomerang depends on two related factors: the extent to which the target state(s) have accepted the international norms at stake and the presence or absence of a specific set of domestic capacities in the target state(s). Because Brazil has higher levels of national environmental legal capacity and greater acceptance of international environmental norms than its neighbors, environmentalists were able to block the Hidrovia there after the successful collective pressure, while Argentine environmentalists were not.

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