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Andrew Song

Andrew SongCoordinates

International Coastal Network

Office: IIC 3063

Telephone: +1 709 864 8019

Mobile: +82 (0)10 5536 1473

Fax: +1 709 864 3119



Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee

Thesis Title

Governance in transition: Exploring people's mindset and institutional matches towards a governable coastal fisheries in South Korea

Research Description

Many fisheries challenges are closely linked to the choice of governance style, with the typical top-down, hierarchical mode unable to effectively cope with ever more diverse, complex, dynamic, and multi-scalar fisheries reality. Subsequently, transition towards a co-management type has been a popular trend in many coastal fisheries around the world. Although this initiative has shown potential in bringing positive outcomes to local fishery and communities, in many cases the transition process has proved to be a ‘wicked’ undertaking with multiple intricate issues emerging to complicate the efforts and to frustrate community members, practitioners and researchers alike.

Recognizing the need for alternate insights into these implementation challenges, this thesis argues for a thorough understanding of governance change by highlighting the importance of ‘meta-order governance’ elements, such as values, images and principles, of various fisheries stakeholders in shaping its outcomes. Further, it calls for an investigation of the institutional aspect of governance to underscore the structural elements being promoted in the transition and to elucidate its fit with the meta-level notions of governance actors, including the local fishers affected by them. These two areas of inquiry are inspired by the interactive governance theory and the governability concept, which emphasizes the need to examine all aspects of a governance system and their interconnectivity in order to solve problems and create societal opportunities.

A government-initiated fisheries co-management program currently underway in South Korea, called ‘Jayul’, forms the context in which this new focus is applied. The main research question this thesis aims to explore is “how does the governance change instituted by the central government align with what fishers fundamentally conceive to be important and desirable for the fishery?” In addition to theoretical conceptualization, the research has a strong emphasis on method development, given the knowledge gap in the elicitation of values, images and principles in empirical settings.

The approach advanced here can be extended to examine the implementation of other fisheries governance initiatives, such as marine protected areas, individual transferable quotas and seafood certification schemes, to provide a useful way of understanding their standings and prospects. In the process, new insights may surface, challenging and improving the core ideas raised in this research.

Research Interests

Fisheries governance

Small-scale fisheries

Integrated coastal zone management


Song, A.M., Chuenpagdee, R., and Jentoft, S. (2013) Values, images, and principles: what they represent and how they may improve fisheries governance. Marine Policy 40, 167-175.

Song, A., and Chuenpagdee, R. (2013) The damage schedule approach. In Bavinck, M., Chuenpagdee R., Jentoft S., Kooiman J. (eds.), Governability of Fisheries: Theory and Applications. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 279-299.

Chuenpagdee, R., and Song, A.M. (2012) Institutional thinking in fisheries governance: broadening perspectives. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4, 309-315.

Song, A., and Khan, A. (2011) Views from below: student reflections on fisheries research. In Chuenpagdee, R. (ed.), World Small-Scale Fisheries: Contemporary Visions. Delft: Eburon, pp. 333-351.

Song, A.M., and Chuenpagdee, R. (2011) Conservation principle: a normative imperative in addressing illegal fishing in Lake Malawi. Maritime Studies (MAST) 10(1), 5-30.

Song, A.M., and Chuenpagdee, R. (2010) Operationalizing governability: a case study of a Lake Malawi fishery. Fish and Fisheries 11, 235-249.