Gerhardinger, Leopoldo Cavaleri, Holzkämper, Eike, de Andrade, Mariana Martins, Corrêa, Marina Ribeiro and Turra, Alexander (2022) Envisioning ocean governability transformations through network-based marine spatial planning. Maritime Studies . DOI

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The globally accelerating environmental crisis calls for radical changes in the governance of ocean resources towards a more sustainable and socially equitable world. Transdisciplinary sustainability research and networked knowledge-to-action approaches are critical parts of this change. The effective application of such approaches still puzzles social actors (individuals and networks) willing to act in more transformative ways. We conducted twelve participatory network mapping activities to assess the perception of high-level federal government institutional entrepreneurs on the structure and dynamics of an emerging socio-political arena for marine spatial planning (MSP) in Brazil. Our informants, mostly cognizant of their own intra-governmental structures, anticipate the MSP arena to remain self-enclosed, with changes only occurring within the federal government structures in the coming years. Their perceptions were largely conservative, narrow, and unambitious and therefore unfit to generate regime transformations. The limited awareness of response capacities beyond the federal government potentially leads to the endurement of the low performance already present in the MSP arena. Results from the participatory network mapping informed a five-step functional ocean governability analysis pointing to key potential contributions to support a critical turn in MSP: 1. envision situated interactional narratives to leverage regime shifts; 2. build a shared understanding of and anticipating transformative coevolutionary dynamics; 3. build awareness of the potential synergies among disparate but innovative area-based responses; 4. specify inter-network-based limitations and the necessary changes underpinning potential leaps in performance levels of ocean governance orders; 5. make power asymmetries explicit to stir structurally tailored strategic action by less influential groups. We discuss the potential role of inter-network strategies and actions and how they may confront the symptoms of depoliticized MSP pathways and the risks of it becoming an instrument of further marginalisation and power asymmetry in Brazil.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2, PA4
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 1872-7859
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 15:01
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 17:01

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