skip to Main Content

Structure, path dependence, and adaptation: North-South imbalances in transnational private fisheries governance

Renckens, Stefan, and Graeme Auld. 2019. Structure, Path Dependence, and Adaptation: North-South Imbalances in Transnational Private Fisheries Governance. Ecological Economics 166.

Abstract

Transnational private governance schemes, like other global rule-making arenas, are confronted with the challenges of North-South imbalances. Through their standards and certification processes, private governance schemes aim to control access to the market for sustainably certified products and may consequently generate or perpetuate global inequalities. Are these imbalances inevitable and likely to persist? This article explores North-South imbalances in the operations of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a leading standard-setting and certification scheme for capture fisheries. We examine whether the scheme’s Northern-dominated origins reflect pre-existing structural imbalances, persist through path-dependent processes, or can be addressed by scheme adaptations. Our analysis uses data on the 312 fisheries that have engaged with the MSC from 1999 to 2015. We find evidence that imbalances in the MSC reflect corporate power and structures of power in the global fisheries sector, but that path dependence has also elevated the power of unexpected countries. Adaptations to date have been less successful as a means to lessen Northern dominance.

More information about the article here

Recent publications

Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
2021 Annual Report
The Earth System Governance Project seeks to mobilise and advance scholarship at the interface between global environmental change and governance. Discover how by learning more about the project in this summary of 2021!
Transforming Biodiversity Governance

Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform…