Challenges of Complex Multi-Level Governance - Baltic Sea Fisheries as a Case
Paper in proceeding, 2011

This article provides and empirical study of Baltic Sea fisheries governance. It aims to illustrate and elaborate the important role of power, appropriate linkages between expertise and regulatory processes on the different levels, and of the tensions and conflicts in the functioning and transformation of governance systems. Baltic Sea fisheries governance is an example of a complex, multi-level commons governance case that involves multiple regulatory processes that operate on different scales, and with a diversity of public and private actors involved. Conceptually, the article uses an institutional approach stressing the structural contexts that shape the social relations and interdependencies of the different actors as well as their situational action opportunities and constraints, their knowledge and models of reality, their values and interests, and particular rationalities. After a brief theoretical and conceptual introduction, the article summarizes the current Baltic Sea governance system under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) framework in a way that allows for comparison with other governance cases within and outside the commons framework. The institutional analysis identifies problems and key factors that led to the failure of the CFP and suggest directions, reforms might take to increase effectiveness. The last part elaborates on key issues of participation and representation on national and international level in the context of the ongoing shifts towards more participation and stakeholder inclusion within the Baltic Sea fisheries governance system in general and the case of Poland in particular.


Christian Stöhr

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers)

European Sociology Association 10

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories



Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

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