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Fisheries and coastal governance as a wicked problem

Svein Jentoft and Ratana Chuenpagdee

Marine Policy, 2009, vol. 33, issue 4, 553-560

Abstract: Inspired by Rittel and Webber [Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences 1973;4:155-69], it is argued that fisheries and coastal governance is confronted with problems that are inherently "wicked." Problems are wicked (as opposed to "tame") when they are difficult to define and delineate from other and bigger problems and when they are not solved once and for all but tend to reappear. Wicked problems have no technical solution, it is not clear when they are solved, and they have no right or wrong solution that can be determined scientifically. Instead, for wicked problems governance must rely on the collective judgment of stakeholders involved in a process that is experiential, interactive and deliberative. In this paper, the wicked problem is identified as a governability issue, recognizing that there are limitations to how rational and effective fisheries and coastal governance can possibly be. The paper offers a framework which could help us locate the wicked problems within the fisheries and coastal governance system, as well as examine their governability.

Keywords: Wicked; problems; Interactive; governance; Governability; Fisheries; Coastal; management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:553-560