The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 7, Number 1, 2008

ISSN 1602-2297

Interactive Governance and Governability: An Introduction

Jan Kooiman, Professor Emeritus
Prinseneiland 50-52 hs 1013 LR Amsterdam, the Netherlands
E-Mail: (Corresponding author)

Maarten Bavinck, Director
MARE, Department of Human Geography, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Ratana Chuenpagdee, Professor
Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada NL A1B 3X9

Robin Mahon, Professor
Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Roger Pullin, consultant,
7A Legaspi Park View, 134 Legaspi St., Makati City, Philippines

Abstract: This paper introduces two concepts - interactive governance and governability - with a view to exploring their applicability for assessing the governance of natural resource systems. Governance in its broad sense suggests that not only the state but also market and civil society have prominent roles in the governing of modern societies, from local to international levels. Interactive governance highlights the interactions between entities belonging to these societal parties. Governability is defined as the governance status of a societal sector or system such as a fishery or a coastal region as a whole. The assessment of such governability is approached by recognizing this whole to consist of three coherent analytical components: the system-to-be-governed , its governing system and their governance interactions. Distinguishing and conceptualising these three components forms a step in the process in which the governability of societal systems can be assessed. The paper uses examples from the field of capture fisheries to illustrate the potential utility of governabilility as an assessment framework.

Key words: Governance, governability, capture fishing, natural resources,

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