Self-Perpetuating Rationalization: State Intervention in the Use of Natural Resources


"Towards the end of the 1980's, the stock of Atlantic-Norwegian cod collapsed. The 'cod crisis' caught most people by surprise, maybe because the fisheries of the region had been taken for granted; people have 'always' fished in North Norway and it seemed almost absurd that they should suddenly be cut off from this activity. In different ways, the crisis - and all the consequences it had - invited reflection over the cultural, economic and social significance of the fisheries of North Norway. Even though this thesis focuses on a few selected consequences of the crisis, it must be considered such a reflection. Specifically, I reflect over the management consequences of the crisis by discussing the relationship between the economic behavior of fishermen in one community in North Norway and the management of cod. In this fashion, I intend to identify and formulate some of the behavioral traits of current resource use. I have formulated the project in this fashion because I think that such a perspective can complement some of the other discussions that can be found among social scientists who are interested in the use of natural resources."



fisheries, cod, resource management, quotas, bureaucracy