Governability Assessment for Fisheries and Coastal Systems: A Reality Check

Abstract

In this article we argue that in order to understand why some governance systems deliver while others do not, we need to assess contributions and limitations of governability. Here, governability refers to a measure of how governable a particular fisheries and coastal system is. Such a system is always comprised of two parts: a system-to-be-governed and a governing system. Governability also depends on the interactions between these two systems. We provide key variables that must be assessed in order to determine governability related to these systems and their interactions. A governability assessment framework is proposed here to suggest that governance performance can only be judged from what is in the potential of the governing system, given the limitations of the governabiltiy of the system-to-be governed, the governing system itself, and their interactions. Such an assessment helps identify what exactly governing systems can and should do in order to enhance their performance.

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Acknowledgments

This article was originally presented at The Ocean Management Research Network (OMRN) 2007 National Conference, Ottawa, 24–27 October 2007. We acknowledge the contributions from the students of the Coastal Connections project at the International Coastal Network, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s: Dean Dumeresque, Jenny Glikman, Kathryn Goetting, Ahmed Khan, Jessica Kukac, Anu Rao, and Andrew Song. We thank Jan Kooiman and Josè Pascual Fernandez of the Fisheries Governance Network (FISHGOVNET) for their comments on the earlier versions. We truly appreciate the critical comments on the manuscript provided by the two anonymous reviewers. Support for this research is provided by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canada Research Chairs program, OMRN and EU-funded INCOFISH project (Project no. INCO 003739).

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Correspondence to Ratana Chuenpagdee.

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Chuenpagdee, R., Jentoft, S. Governability Assessment for Fisheries and Coastal Systems: A Reality Check. Hum Ecol 37, 109–120 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-008-9212-3

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Keywords

  • Governance system
  • Governability
  • Assessment framework
  • Limitations
  • Fisheries and coasts