Multi-scale policy diffusion and translation in Pacific Island coastal fisheries

Song, Andrew M., Cohen, Philippa J., Hanich, Quentin, Morrison, Tiffany H., and Andrew, Neil (2019) Multi-scale policy diffusion and translation in Pacific Island coastal fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management, 168. pp. 139-149.

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Multilateral consensus forged among heads of states must be value-additive and relevant at the national level to facilitate on-ground implementation. Yet, despite general optimism and advances in policy understanding, multi-scale diffusion remains a challenge with little certainty in outcomes. This study focuses on examining intermediary dynamics occurring within national policy apparatus that can influence domestic uptake of policy innovation. We analyse the anticipated spread of two supranational policies on coastal fisheries in the Pacific region – the 'Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines' and 'the New Song' – in three countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Our approach combines instrumental perspectives on 'policy coherence' with cognitive–normative perspectives on 'policy image'. Accordingly, we use two methods: a document-based comparison of the policies produced at different levels and interviews with national government officers in charge of policy deliberation and delivery. We find supranational-to-national policy coherence across most prescribed policy themes, except for emergent social themes such as 'gender' and 'human rights–based approaches'. The views of government managers substantiate, and further augment, this finding. Crucially, managers' images (encompassing judgements, aspirations and convictions) represent personal and practical attributes involved in policy interpretation and implementation. Multi-scale policy diffusion is thus a translational process mediated by national-level staff, and managers' policy images offer nuanced and dynamic insights into why some policies are slow to take root while others take different shape to their agreed meanings. Analysts and policymakers must consider and mobilise translational approaches and policy images in order to understand and facilitate successful domestic implementation of international agreements.

Item ID: 57169
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-524X
Keywords: community-based fisheries management; multi-scale governance; policy coherence; policy image; policy translation
Copyright Information: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ACIAR Project FIS/2012/074, ACIAR Project FIS/2016/300, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2019 07:43
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 40%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4802 Environmental and resources law > 480204 Mining, energy and natural resources law @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 60%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis @ 40%
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