The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 589–605 | Cite as

Contesting Inclusiveness: The Anxieties of Mechanised Fishers Over Social Boundaries in Chennai, South India

  • Maarten Bavinck
  • Subramanian Karuppiah
  • Svein Jentoft
Original Article


As fisheries generally take place in a common pool resource in which exclusion is by definition difficult, they are a unique entry point to investigating the inclusive development concept. This article discusses the debates and interactions between owners of mechanized fishing boats in Chennai, India, over entry into their ocean fisheries. For the time period under consideration (1995-2014), we demonstrate that the discussion over social boundaries to the profession continued unabated, with moderate and more extreme views alternating and poorer owners standing opposed to the boat-owning elite. Interactive governance theory provides the framework of analysis. We conclude that governors – whether of the state or of the fishing population – need to balance between different policy objectives and between the imperatives of inclusion and exclusion to improve governability.


inclusive development fisheries governance India social boundaries 


Etant donné que la pêche implique généralement une ressource commune qui par definition rend l’exclusion difficile, elle est un point d’entrée unique pour enquêter sur le concept de développement inclusif. Cet article examine les débats et les interactions entre les propriétaires de bateaux de pêche mécanisés à Chennai, en Inde, à propos de l’entrée dans le domaine de la pêche en haute mer. Au cours de la période observée (1995-2014), nous démontrons que la discussion sur les frontières sociales à la profession SE poursuit sans relâche, avec des vues modérées alternant avec des vues plus extrêmes et les propriétaires les plus pauvres s’opposant à l’élite propriétaire de bateaux. La théorie de la gouvernance interactive fournit un cadre d’analyse. Nous concluons que les gouverneurs – qu’ils soient ceux de l’Etat ou ceux de la communauté de pêcheurs – doivent trouver un équilibre entre différents objectifs politiques et entre les impératifs de l’intégration ainsi que de l’exclusion pour améliorer la gouvernabilité.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maarten Bavinck
    • 1
  • Subramanian Karuppiah
    • 2
  • Svein Jentoft
    • 3
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Fisheries Co-management, Chennai Fishing Harbour, Fisheries Management Resource Centre (FishMARC)Tamil NaduIndia
  3. 3.University of TromsøTromsøNorway

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