Stakeholder Dialogues and Shared Understanding: The Case of Co-Managing Fisheries in Sweden
Journal article, 2014
There is growing interest in communication, participation and learning in multiple fields, such as governance and policy research, natural resource management research and educational research. This paper reports a study on stakeholder dialogues and shared understanding in the context of co-managed fisheries aiming at participation and learning to increase aspects of efficiency, legitimacy and accuracy. The research investigates differing views held by participants on resource decline and how these could be affected through stakeholder dialogues. The results show that diverging views remained after four years of meetings and dialogues, but also that shared understanding in relation to certain topics developed. Participants highlighted that shared understanding was important for the feasibility of co-management, while also addressing issues of invisibility of the resource (fish living under water), uncertainty due to the complexity of the eco systems, and the epistemological difficulties of bringing scientific results into decision-making, which makes shared understanding in this case challenging and even impossible at times.