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Title: Governing Resilience : inclusion, knowledge and complexity in marine social-ecological systems in Kenya
Author: Evans, Louisa S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 551X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2008
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Conventional resource management pervades the practice of ecosystem governance and the performance of alternative models is inconsistent, particularly in developing country contexts. I argue for a perspective that focuses on enabling underlying principles of governance to improve a range of governance regimes. This thesis prioritises three principles of adaptive governance, namely, inclusive decision-making, diversity of ecological knowledge, and integration of complexity thinking. It examines how these are enabled or disabled in practice, and the implications for the legitimacy and effectiveness of management strategies, including marine protected areas, expected to secure resilience of desirable ecological configurations. An institutional analysis with a concern for power relations, socio-cultural practice, and historical social geographies is employed. Empirical data were collected from two marine social-ecological systems in Kenya, using a range of qualitative techniques. Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve and Diani-Chale Management Area provide appropriately complex systems where interactions between individuals and their environment are intense and multi-faceted, and where interactions between actors differ between and within sites. These cases provide appropriate contexts for intricate and critical analysis. At the local level, actors' interactions and knowledge integration are mediated by a suite of institutional, socio-cultural, and historical factors. The behaviour of local actors is also strongly influenced by perceptions of ethics and collective rights. Forums for ethical debate and resolution of historical conflict \vithin the social-ecological systems are necessary to improve both the legitimacy and effectiveness of governance. \Vithin the coastal zone, a diversity of knowledge, which reflects complexity thinking to different extents, is available. However, the potential of inclusionary processes to facilitate environmental feedback into decisions made is severely curtailed by power dynamics and the inertia of national institutional reform. Nevertheless, opportunities for actors to interact in more democratic, inclusive and informative ways are emerging in practice, despite the prevalence of governance mechanisms founded on conventional thinking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available