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Governability of Fisheries and Aquaculture: Theory and Applications

  • Book
  • © 2013


  • Holistic, systems-oriented approach to fisheries problems
  • Interdisciplinary governance perspective
  • Questions how varying levels of governability are distinguished in fisheries and aquaculture fields?

Part of the book series: MARE Publication Series (MARE, volume 7)

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About this book

Following from Fish for Life – Interactive Governance for Fisheries (Kooiman et al., 2005), which presents an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to the governance of capture and aquaculture fisheries, this volume pursues what interactive governance theory and the governability perspective contribute to the resolution of key fisheries problems, these include overfishing, unemployment and poverty, food insecurity, and social injustice. Since these problems are varied and can be felt among governments, resource users and communities globally, the diagnosis must be holistic, and take account of principles, institutions, and operational conditions. The authors argue that ‘wicked problems’ and institutional limitations are inherent to each setting, and must be included in the analysis. The volume thereby offers a new lens and a systematic approach for analysing the nature of problems and challenges concerning the governance of fisheries, explores where these problems are situated, and how potential solutions may be found. 

”It now seems clear that the crisis in the world’s fisheries [is] a much larger and more complex problem than many had imagined.   Yet, examining it through the lens of governability may offer the best hope for alleviating it--as well as alleviating similar crises in other social systems.” James R. McGoodwin (Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado)

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Table of contents (19 chapters)

  1. Introducing Governability

  2. Thematic Applications

  3. Methodological Approaches

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Maarten Bavinck

  • , Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada

    Ratana Chuenpagdee

  • , Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

    Svein Jentoft

  • , Centre for Maritime Research, Erasmus University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Jan Kooiman

About the editors

Maarten Bavinck is associate professor at the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is co-founder of the social science Centre for Maritime Research (MARE). Maarten specializes in coastal and marine issues, with special relevance to India and Sri Lanka.

Ratana Chuenpagdee is Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development, Memorial University. Her research emphasizes interdisciplinary, innovative and interactive approaches to coastal, fisheries and ocean governance. She is currently leading a major initiative called Too Big to Ignore, which examines issues and concerns related to small-scale fisheries around the world.

Svein Jentoft is a sociologist and a professor at Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Norway. He has published a great number of books and journal articles on fisheries- and coastal zone management. He is the co-editor of the recent book, “Poverty Mosaics: Realities and Prospects in Small-Scale Fisheries” (Springer 2011).

Jan Kooiman is Em. Professor of Public Organization and Management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Guest Scholar at the University of Amsterdam. He studied Dutch and comparative Parliaments, public organization and management, and has recently concentrated on conceptual studies of governance and governability and its application to fisheries.

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