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Taking power to sea: Towards a post-structuralist discourse theoretical critique of marine spatial planning
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik, Miljövetenskap. (BaltSpace)ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2264-6892
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, ISSN 2399-6544, Vol. 36, nr 2, s. 58-273Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Responding to calls for a more theoretically driven, post-positivist and radical marine spatial planning research that approaches the policy as a political project, this paper develops a poststructuralist discourse theory approach to critical marine spatial planning. Elaborating radical contingency as an ontological condition of social life, which points to the ineradicability of power and conflict in marine spatial planning social relations, the paper problematizes marine spatial planning as constituting politics, or key practices that attempt to organize human coexistence and thus, conceal this radical contingency. These practices (e.g. ecosystem-based management, participation, planning regulation and the organization of socio-natural spaces), whose outcomes are far from adaptive, consensual or neutral are discussed as sites of ‘politics’ that effectively marginalize particular groups of people and ‘herd’ their participation and ways of knowing toward achieving limited policy outcomes. Drawing on the EU Marine Spatial Planning Directive, the paper further teases out how specific narratives and rhetorical signifiers around ‘integrating’ and ‘balancing’ potentially irreconcilable sustainable development objectives may interpellate particular stakeholders in ways that render them ideologically complicitous in sustaining, rather than challenging, neoliberal logics of managerialism and economic maximization of marine resources. But in tune with the ontological condition of the social as radically contingent, the paper discusses how and why participatory spaces may constitute a potential space of contestation for marginalized voices and thus, reveal the political moment of marine spatial planning. Calls are made for future empirically grounded research that explores how these marine spatial planning practices are lived in both planning and extra-planning settings, and with what implications for marine protection and extant social relations of power in different marine spatial planning contexts.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2018. Vol. 36, nr 2, s. 58-273
Emneord [en]
Critical marine spatial planning, post-structuralist discourse theory, ecosystem-based management, participation, power (politics and the political)
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32811DOI: 10.1177/2399654417707527ISI: 000429797300005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85033586255Lokal ID: 2186/3.1.1/2014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32811DiVA, id: diva2:1109644
Prosjekter
BaltSpace
Forskningsfinansiär
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2186/3.1.1/2014Swedish Research Council FormasEU, FP7, Seventh Framework ProgrammeTilgjengelig fra: 2017-06-14 Laget: 2017-06-14 Sist oppdatert: 2019-04-25bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. The “Dark Side” of Marine Spatial Planning: A study of domination, empowerment and freedom through theories of discourse and power
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>The “Dark Side” of Marine Spatial Planning: A study of domination, empowerment and freedom through theories of discourse and power
2019 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to contribute to the marine spatial planning (MSP) literature by elaborating a robust theoretical account of power for a more rigorous and balanced critical analysis of MSP. Conceived as a problem-solving regime, MSP has emerged as a radical approach to govern the use and protection of marine resources. However, critics are questioning the radicalness of MSP, particularly its ability to address issues around knowledge, stakeholder and land-sea integration, as well as power asymmetry, distributive justice and equity. Nonetheless, critics largely conceive power in MSP as restricting agency. Even so, insidious mechanisms of power remain under-examined, as are the productive power and potential of planning. This thesis brings concepts from discourse and power theories together (drawing on Foucault, Laclau and Mouffe, and Haugaard) to conceptualize various mechanisms of power in MSP. The framework is then brought into dialogue with planning issues in Estonia and Poland. Empirical data are drawn from semi-structured interviews, legal judgments, planning and policy documents, as well as position papers and media statements, which are produced by planners, officials, developers, fishers and coastal residents. The following findings and conclusions are reached. First, MSP’ing (verb form) restricts agency because (a) in planning encounters, powerful actors misuse opportunities for concerted action to reach sectoral rather than collective goals; (b) in setting the agenda, various biases are mobilized in favor of vested interests; and (c) the fantasmatic power of planning conjoin with the planner’s cognitive limitation to naturalize and sustain subjugation. Second, MSP is a laudable system. It provides stakeholders with the dispositional power to get things done in concert, which entails a normatively felicitous move from the risks of open commons-type conflicts and chaos to structuring and predictability. Third, when planning is rigidly done within the confines of legality and programmatic norms, “free” subjects of planning may be transformed into immovable subjects of resistance, who may develop contestatory strategies that have transformatory potentials. Fourth, to both facilitate equitable planning processes and outcomes, and ensure efficiency and stability, not only must the planner be reflective of the norms and ideologies that shape her actions and/or inactions, but the state as the ultimate governing authority in MSP must also take measures to minimize asymmetries in the distribution of social resources. The thesis makes a call for scholars to contribute towards planning praxis through analyzing who the weakest actors are in each MSP setting, what their context-specific needs are, and what empowerment may entail for them.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2019. s. 180
Serie
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 164
Emneord
marine spatial planning; discourse; power; domination; empowerment; freedom; conflict; resistance; small-scale fisheries; offshore wind energy
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Miljövetenskapliga studier; Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38051 (URN)2186/3.1.1/2014 (Lokal ID)978-91-88663-67-2 (ISBN)978-91-88663-68-9 (ISBN)2186/3.1.1/2014 (Arkivnummer)2186/3.1.1/2014 (OAI)
Disputas
2019-05-29, MA624, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Prosjekter
BaltSpace
Tilgjengelig fra: 2019-05-08 Laget: 2019-04-25 Sist oppdatert: 2019-05-09bibliografisk kontrollert

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