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Taking power to sea: Towards a post-structuralist discourse theoretical critique of marine spatial planning
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science. (BaltSpace)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2264-6892
2017 (English)In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, ISSN 2399-6544Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Critical marine spatial planning, post-structuralist discourse theory, ecosystem-based management, participation, power (politics and the political)
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32811DOI: 10.1177/2399654417707527Local ID: 2186/3.1.1/2014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32811DiVA: diva2:1109644
Projects
BaltSpace
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2186/3.1.1/2014Swedish Research Council FormasEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Tafon, Ralph Voma
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf