Toward Specificity in Complexity: Understanding Co-Management from a Social Science Perspective

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Kluwer Academic Publishers


"The term 'fisheries co-management' has now been so broadly used in applied settings and in social science that it risks losing important aspects of its original thrust. In addition, as social science thinking about management in general has evolved over the last two decades, we have all refined and enriched the way we see this concept. For the concept to remain useful, I argue that it should become more specific and complex instead of more general and generic. In the discussion below I attempt to reevaluate, and reorganize a few key dimensions of this term into a form that is more theoretically useful for dealing with complexity. I use the evolution of my own research and thinking on fisheries co-management over the last 15 years as a means of attempting to hone and revitalize the term. Also, in dialogue with colleagues, I suggest key alternative perspectives about what meaning we should assign the phrase."



fisheries, co-management, social science, complex systems