Fisheries Co-Management and Legal Pluralism: How an Analytical Problem Becomes an Institutional One

By Jentoft, Svein; Bavinck, Maarten et al. | Human Organization, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Fisheries Co-Management and Legal Pluralism: How an Analytical Problem Becomes an Institutional One


Jentoft, Svein, Bavinck, Maarten, Johnson, Derek S., Thomson, Kaleekal T., Human Organization


This paper addresses two issues pertaining to legal pluralism in capture fisheries, particularly with regard to the South. First there is the problem of analysis. If legal pluralism is a common phenomenon, how is it to be discerned and understood? Secondly, there is the matter of institutional design: given the pervasiveness of legal pluralism, which management institutions are better suited to represent and resolve inter-legal system differences? The authors argue the case of co-management. Drawing on examples and insights from a comparative research project in South Asia, four basic types of legal pluralism and co-management are distinguished. The authors conclude that co-management is a process that brings legal systems, and their constituent organizations and groups, together within a single framework. For fisher organizations, which frequently have distinct legal perspectives, co-management is an essential path to legitimacy. For the state, other legal systems are a resource that management can draw upon.

Key words: fisheries, legal pluralism, co-management, legitimacy, South Asia

Introduction

Legal pluralism arises when different legal ideas, principles, and systems are applied to the same situation (Vanderlinden 1972). What happens in those circumstances is an intriguing issue for social inquiry that has inspired a distinct interdisciplinary research paradigm. The legal pluralism perspective draws primarily from two academic disciplines: law and social anthropology. It is nourished by empirical investigation of social interaction and culturally embedded institutions, often at the level of the local community.

Fisheries are one sector where in many countries the state has abstained from exercising authority and where no or limited fisheries legislation exists. In some instances, this is a deliberate choice based on the observation that local legal systems seem to work sufficiently well. In other instances, the state is lagging behind and has not been able to respond to new situations and needs, such as the current environmental crisis in fisheries. Both scenarios exist in India, and which, given its enormous social and cultural diversity, is well suited for legal pluralism research.

At a general level, our paper addresses two issues pertaining to legal pluralism in fisheries and coastal community settings. First, there is the problem of analysis. If legal pluralism is a common phenomenon, how is it to be discerned and understood? What are its constituent parts, and how do they relate to one another? Secondly, there is the matter of institutional design: given the pervasiveness of legal pluralism, which management institutions are better suited to represent and resolve inter-legal system differences? What are the difficulties involved in making both state and indigenous law applicable to fisheries and coastal management? And, what has co-management to offer in this respect? We argue that co-management may well provide a solution to the challenges that legal pluralism brings to the managerial decision-making process - yet there is no guarantee that co-management will succeed. In order to maximize effectiveness, co-management must be designed with legal pluralism in mind.

Drawing on examples and insights from the results of a project on legal pluralism in South Asian marine fisheries, we will reflect on the dilemmas involved in developing co-management systems when legal pluralism reigns and on the consequences and implications these dilemmas may have for the institutional modelling of co-management. We begin by presenting the essentials of the legal pluralism perspective and what it brings to fisheries resource management research and practice. Next, we address the particular analytical problems that legal pluralism poses for the social researcher and introduce a set of empirical cases. What they mean for the design and practice of fisheries co-management is discussed in the final section. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fisheries Co-Management and Legal Pluralism: How an Analytical Problem Becomes an Institutional One
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.