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Tuesday, June 25 • 15:00 - 16:30
Critical turn in Marine Spatial Planning - whence and whither? (1)

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Chaired by: Flannery, W., Toonen, H., Jay, S., & Vince, J

Critical turn in Marine Spatial Planning - whence and whither?
Wesley Flannery, Hilde Toonen, Stephen Jay and Joanna Vince

While area-based approaches to marine management have a long history, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has risen to become the dominant marine management paradigm. Over the last 10 years, MSP has been championed as a solution to a plethora of marine issues. MSP is promoted as: a process for implementing ecosystem-based management in the marine environment; a mechanism for reducing user conflict; as a means of enhancing environmental protection; and a process for facilitating the expansion of maritime economies. While MSP has become a popular subject of academic scrutiny, there is a dearth of theoretically-informed, social science MSP papers. This has resulted in calls for a critical turn in MSP scholarship. In response to this, a Thematic Series was developed for Maritime Studies. This session is comprised of papers accepted for the Thematic Series and provides a wide range of theoretically-informed reflections on MSP. The papers cover, amongst other things, knowledge production, the socio-spatial construction of the marine environment; social justice; the contested nature of the marine problem and evaluates emerging MSP practices in both the Global North and the Global South. The session, therefore, provides a comprehensive overview of critical thinking within MSP, and will lead to debate and discussion within each panel.


1. A Foucauldian Analysis of Marine Spatial Planning in the UK, 
Wesley Flannery and Ben McAteer 
 
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has been described as the rational organization of the use of marine space. Rationality is, however, context dependent and the context of rationality is power. The dominant asocial and apolitical conceptualisation of MSP views it as a logical process, sitting above power, which will produce rational use of marine areas. The perceived rationality of MSP is based on an uncritical understanding of the production space, particularly how space is produced by powerful actors. We argue that rather than being viewed as inherently rational, MSP should be considered a power-laden processes. Power may be present in a number of ways within MSP: political elites may define both the marine problem and its solution in a manner that suits their own agendas; or particular forms of 'knowledge' or 'norms' may be prioritised within the planning process. This paper presents a Foucauldian analysis of power within MSP processes in the UK. Adopting a governmentality framework, the paper analyses the problematizations, technologies, and rationalities of first UK marine plans.


2. The need for learning in Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning
Xander Keijser, Hilde Toonen, and Jan van Tatenhove

Both policy makers and scholars acknowledge and emphasize the need for learning in maritime spatial planning, as it still is a rather new approach. Even more, adaptive management which incorporates monitoring and evaluation in management actions, is seen as fundamental for maritime spatial planning, and further emphasizes the need for learning. Few neglect or criticize claims about the importance of learning. As such it remains a vague and understudied process, assumed to be and do “only good”.

In this paper, we investigate learning as a normative goal in maritime spatial planning and how it links to marine governance. The main research questions are: How is learning in maritime spatial planning conceptualised and operationalised? And to what extent does the 'learning paradox' also apply to maritime spatial planning? The authors elaborate on the five dimensions of the ‘Learning Paradox’ of Armitage and colleagues and examine to what extent these and other dimensions are relevant for maritime spatial planning. The analysis is carried out by performing a literature review on learning in maritime spatial planning in an European context, and a case study. The case study concentrates on the experiences of maritime spatial planning in the Netherlands, because various iterations have already taken place in the Netherlands.


3. Revisiting the social reconstruction of the marine environment: is now the time for a critical turn in Marine Spatial Planning?
Heather Ritchie and Linda McElduff

With the concept of Marine Spatial Planning firmly established within the UK with its own legislation, plans and planning policies, this paper critically revisits MSP as part of the wider debate associated with the social reconstruction of the marine environment, as first discussed by Peel and Lloyd’s seminal paper in 2004. We pose that some of the arguments made in that paper around the idea of a ‘marine problem’ still stand and are indeed exaberated, but we ascertain that there has been so much change in the governance of the marine environment that has positively altered the way that society has reconstructed a solution to that marine problem. In this paper we seek to revisit Hannigan’s (1995) social constructionist framework to demonstrate that the marine problem has been fully reconstructed by satisfying the 6 prerequisites. Hannigan stated that for an environmental issue (like the marine problem) to attain an identity on the policy agenda, there was a need to command action (policy intervention), claim legitimacy and invoke action. We seek to show that this has been achieved, even whilst there have been many governance obstacles hindering such progress. To do this we provide an overview of how the marine problem has intensified in the preceding 15 years, we look at the current marine planning arrangements in the UK have been shaped in that time, and we show, by updating the 6 prerequisites, how the marine problem has captured the wider public’s attention. We conclude by stating that the regulatory and policy environment of MSP has somewhat changed from 2004, but with an even moving agenda of change within the marine environment there is still much more to do be done for MSP to meeting Hannigan’s (1995) prerequisites.

4. Discussant:
Stephen Jay,



Tuesday June 25, 2019 15:00 - 16:30
REC A1.07 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam