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WS7: Imagining sustainable futures for marine environments

Published: 8 October 2018

Imagining sustainable futures for marine environments: governing science, policy and stakeholder perspectives for “sea and society” challenges


Sebastian Linke (University of Gothenburg):
Milena Arias Schreiber (University of Gothenburg):
Alyne Delaney (Aalborg University):
Pekka Salmi (Natural Resources Institute Finland):

LTU contact person: Annica Sandström:

Governing marine environments sustainably in social, economic and ecological terms remains a major challenge, both on global, as well as on regional, national and local levels. The marine social sciences have over recent decades gathered a vast amount of (interdisciplinary) knowledge on various aspects of marine governance, stemming primarily from fisheries management but increasingly extending beyond to coastal and wider ocean governance issues. More recently notions of the blue economy and “blue-growth” (as equivalent to its terrestrial counterpart of “green growth”) entered policy developments in form of concrete agendas on how to cultivate the oceans for further industrialization and commodification of its resources. However critical attention is raised at the same time about environmental impacts, sensitivities and health of marine ecosystems. This calls for new inquiries from the (marine) environmental social sciences connected to such economic developments and a re-evaluation of previous and ongoing social sciences research’s connections with environmental and natural resource policy agendas. Marine environmental social science needs not just to provide input to practical management e.g. under ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management but is increasingly required to supply knowledge of broader issues of governing science-policy and stakeholder’s interactions.

This session invites contributions to these “sea and society” topics, both from theoretical/conceptual as well as from empirical perspectives. We look forward to interesting discussions of papers from a wide spectrum of the environmental marine social sciences with local, regional as well as national and global perspectives.

We invite suggestions including, but not limited, to the following themes:

  • Science-policy-stakeholder interactions, knowledge governance and co-creation of knowledge and policy
  • Sustainable futures under agendas for blue growth including perspectives from the ‘degrowth’ research agenda
  • Community concepts and practices for coastal and marine governance
  • Marine social science research in approaches for transforming the oceans, e.g. under ecosystem-based management for fisheries and other marine issues
  • Varieties of economic concepts for coastal and marine governance
  • Privatization of oceans and/vs. co-management of natural resource utilization