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Iron triangles and subsidies: understanding the long-term role of the government on Swedish commercial fisheries

Hentati Sundberg, Jonas and Fryers Hellquist, Katharina and Duit, Andreas (2019). Iron triangles and subsidies: understanding the long-term role of the government on Swedish commercial fisheries. Ecology and Society. 24 , 1-22
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Abstract

Many natural resources have degraded and collapsed despite being managed under rigorous institutional frameworks set up to ensure rational exploitation. Path dependency of dysfunction institutions has been suggested as an explanation for such undesired outcomes. We explore the role of path dependency in natural resource management by studying a 100-year evolution of Swedish fisheries. We rely on three main types of original longitudinal data collected for the period 1914–2016: (A) policy documents, (B) government spending on management and subsidies, and (C) catch and fleet data. Our analysis contrasts the periods before and after the Swedish entrance into the European Union (1995) because this marks the year when fisheries policy became beyond the direct influence of the Swedish government. We uncover four pieces of evidence suggesting the existence of a path dependent dynamic in the pre-EU period: (1) despite increasing insights on the vulnerability of fish stocks to overexploitation, national policy goals in relation to fisheries continuously promoted incompatible goals of social and economic growth but without any reference to the sustainability of the biological resources; (2) the same policy instruments were used over long periods; (3) actor constellations within the fisheries policy subsystem were stable over time; (4) neither political regime nor macroeconomic variables and fisheries performance (industry production, oil price, landing values) could explain observed temporal variation in subsidies. We conclude that key policy actors in the pre-EU period formed an “iron triangle” and thereby prevented necessary policy changes. These national reinforcing feedbacks have been weakened since EU entrance, and the indicators for path dependency show broader involvement of stakeholders, a shift in spending, and policy goals that now explicitly address ecological sustainability.

Authors/Creators:Hentati Sundberg, Jonas and Fryers Hellquist, Katharina and Duit, Andreas
Title:Iron triangles and subsidies: understanding the long-term role of the government on Swedish commercial fisheries
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:24
Page range:1-22
Number of Pages:22
Publisher:Ecological Society of America, Resilience Alliance, Carleton University
ISSN:1708-3087
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 207 Environmental Engineering > Environmental Management
Keywords:fisheries, historical ecology, path dependence, resilience, social-ecological systems, subsidies, sustainability
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102933
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102933
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.5751/ES-11259-240418
ID Code:16486
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 12:26
Metadata Last Modified:27 Aug 2020 20:51

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