Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Axel Marx, Miet Maertens, Johan Swinnen and Jan Wouters
Chapter 2: Governing Global Commons: Public Private Protection of Fish and Forests
26/6/12/Final 2. Governing global commons: the public-private protection of ﬁsh and forests Frans van Waarden 1. INTRODUCTION A main task of the state is to protect its citizens against all imaginable kinds of risks and uncertainties; it is its very legitimation. Citizens have entered into an imaginary contract with the state, oﬀering loyalty, obedience and taxes in exchange for security and prosperity. That was already so in the early days of state formation, when state authority was accepted and duties performed in exchange for protection from dangerous nature, animals and humans, foreign armies and criminals. However, in the modern era states, and especially democratic welfare states, are confronted with a double paradox. While advances in scientiﬁc knowledge and technologies have led citizens to demand greater levels of state protection from an ever longer list of risks, the state’s capacity to satisfy these expectations has been decreasing. With globalization, more and more sources of risk and uncertainty are beyond the direct control of the nation-state and many emanate from outside its territorial jurisdiction. Thus states are getting squeezed between these contradictory tendencies: more demands, yet less capacity to satisfy them. Re-regulating global forces is understandably not as easy as reregulating the domestic sphere. The former requires nation-states to extend jurisdiction beyond their own territorial borders. How do countries try to inﬂuence regulatory standards elsewhere? Economically or politically powerful nations can and do occasionally (try to) impose their standards on other nations, through trade relations, that is, through what...
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