The Evolving Public Order of the Oceans: Interests, Ideas, and Influence

Sunday, February 19, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Oran Young, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
We are experiencing growing needs for ocean governance to solve collective-action problems, to internalize social costs, and to address impacts of Earth system dynamics on marine systems. Many of these problems are playing out simultaneously and in an overlapping manner. There is no shortage of specific efforts to address these needs, including extended coastal state jurisdiction, regional fisheries management organizations, regional seas agreements, the creation of marine protected areas, functional arrangements (e.g. rules dealing with commercial shipping), the International Seabed Authority, and the proposed agreement on Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction. The challenge is to create a mosaic of ocean governance arrangements that is not crippled by the existence of major gaps (e.g. a failure to address the impacts of climate change or long-range transport of pollutants) or the emergence of tensions arising from interplay among the individual components (e.g. distinct regimes for resources of the seabed and the water column). Divergences among the conceptual orientations and modes of reasoning arising from a number of distinct discourses (e.g. neo-liberalism, conservationism, preservationism/protectionism, legalism) hinder efforts to come to terms with these matters. Solutions are likely to require conscious efforts to develop an integrated marine regime complex and to consider options that lie outside the standard toolkit of the regulatory paradigm.