Making Fishery Agreements Work

Making Fishery Agreements Work

Post-Agreement Bargaining in the Barents Sea

Geir Hønneland

Why do people obey the law? And why do states abide by their international commitments? These are among the questions raised in this important book. The setting is the Barents Sea, home to some of the most productive fishing grounds on the planet, including the world’s largest cod stock. Norway and Russia manage these fish resources together, in what appears to be a successful exception to the rule of failed fisheries management: stocks are in good shape, institutional cooperation is expanding and takes place in a constructive atmosphere. The author argues that post-agreement bargaining helps activate norms and establish standard operating procedure that furthers precautionary fisheries management.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Geir Hønneland

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental law, environmental management, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, international politics

Extract

Why do people obey the law? And why do states abide by their international commitments? The concept of compliance has attracted increasing interest among political scientists in recent years. The debate relates to political processes at various levels involving many types of subjects. At the international level, the focus is on how states comply with international treaties and regime obligations; at the national level, on how lowerlevel bodies deal with decisions made at higher levels; and at the individual level, on how specific individuals comply with rules aimed at regulating their behaviour. This literature builds on explorations and findings from economics, psychology, criminology and other social sciences. It generally has two main aims: to explain why subjects comply with certain regulations, and how the relevant authorities can enhance compliance. Why do drivers sometimes follow traffic rules, and fishers (again, sometimes) keep their catches within quota limits? Is it a matter of personal ethics, of economic calculations or of the legitimacy of political institutions? What types of political action can best nurture a person’s inclination to comply? Why do states sometimes abide by the agreements they conclude with other states, and sometimes not? Do states have a moral or ethical sense? Do they fear shaming or retaliation from other states if they fail to keep their commitments? What strategies can states apply to get other states to stick to their promises? This book looks into these questions by focusing on the management of one international fishery, examining compliance at both the...