The Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Baltic Sea Governance: Towards Increased Reflexivity?

Magnus Boström, Sam Grönholm, Björn Hassler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter analyses the governance structures linked to the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. The purpose is to assess whether current developments of the governance structures have a potential to take into account requirements of an Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM). We use the concept of reflexive governance to understand key components and weaknesses in contemporary governance modes, as well as to elaborate on possible pathways towards a governance mode alinged with EAM. The reflexive governance framework highlight three elements: (1) acknowledgement of uncertainty and ambiguity; (2) a holistic approach in terms of scales, sectors and actors; and (3) acknowledgement of path dependency and incremental policy-making. Our analysis is based on a comperative case study approach, including analysis of the governance in five envriomental risk areas: chemical pollution, overfishing, eutrophication, invasive alien species and pollution from shipping. The chapter highlights an existing governance mode that is ill-equipped to deal with the complexity of environmental problems in a holistic manner, with systematic attention to uncertainty, plurality of values, ambiguity and limited knowledge, whilse also pointing at important recent cognitive abd institutional developments that can favour pathways towards reflexive governance and consequently EAM   
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Governance of the Baltic Sea
EditorsMichael Gilek, Mikael Karlsson, Sebastian Linke, Katarzyna Smolarz
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-27006-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-27005-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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