Applying the Governability Concept in Fisheries – Explorations from South Asia

  • Maarten Bavinck
  • Jan Kooiman
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 7)


This chapter investigates the variations in governability that occur in fisheries systems. It builds upon the notion that diversity, complexity, dynamics, and scale affect the performance of societal systems profoundly, and that these effects emerge at the level of their three components. Variations in the governability of systems-to-be-governed are examined through a chain approach. Theories of legal pluralism, institutional nestedness and adaptability are subsequently applied to assess the governability of governing systems. Finally, governing interactions are considered through the lens of three ideal-typical modes – self-governance, hierarchical governance and co-governance. The many variations of governability are illustrated with cases from the capture fisheries of South India. The central message is that connections between the components of a fisheries system matter and that a better match may result in higher levels of governability.


Governability Fish chain Legal pluralism Nestedness Institutional dynamics 



This chapter has benefitted greatly from the comments provided by Derek Johnson, to whom thanks are due.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development StudiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Maritime ResearchUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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