Maarten Bavinck


Maarten Bavinck, CCRN ResearcherI grew up in India/Sri Lanka of Dutch parents and studied development sociology at the Free University in Amsterdam. My first fieldwork was on the social organization and history of a fishing village in northern Sri Lanka, and brought me into the fisheries field. A number of years later I completed my PhD in human geography on the conflicts occurring in the fisheries of the Coromandel Coast, in South India. Ever since I have concentrated my work in South Asia. More recently, however, I have had the chance to learn about other mainly small-scale fisheries, notably in South and West Africa. Being the regional coordinator of the Too Big to Ignore project for Europe, I have also involved myself with this region. I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and am professor at the University of Amsterdam.


I am currently leading a project with the acronym REINCORPFISH that is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO/WOTRO: its full title is ‘Reincorporating the excluded: Providing space for small-scale fishers in the sustainable development of fisheries of South Africa and South Asia’. The consortium that is carrying out this project (2010-1016) is made up of academic institutions as well as civil society partners in these two regions, and is geared towards understanding main problems of small-scale fishers and furthering the governance of their fisheries. The angle is one of legal pluralism and political ecology. My own take on the situation in the two regions is of small-scale, rural fishing communities that have developed their own law to regulate their use of space and resources. This ‘law’, and the communities too, have become embattled, with little recognition ensuing for their historical rights. By promoting ‘bottom-up governance’, in a context of multiple actors and governance levels, the project is striving to improve their position. This can only be done, however, if environmental sustainability too is taken into account. The irony of the situation is that environmental sustainability receives excessive emphasis in South Africa, and too little emphasis in South Asia.


Research monographs
i. Bavinck, M. and A. Jyotishi (eds.) In press. Conflict, Negotiations and Natural Resource Management A Legal Pluralism Perspective from India. Routledge.
ii. Bavinck, M., L. Pellegrini and E. Mostert (eds.) 2014. Conflict over natural resources in the global south – conceptual approaches. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis
iii. Bavinck, M., R. Chuenpagdee, S. Jentoft and J. Kooiman (eds) 2013. Governability – theory and applications for fisheries. MARE Publication Series. Springer.
iv. Kooiman, J., M. Bavinck, S. Jentoft and R. Pullin (eds.) 2005. Fish for Life: interactive governance for fisheries. MARE Publication Series. Amsterdam University Press
v. Bavinck, M. 2001. Marine resource management – conflict and regulation in the fisheries of the Coromandel Coast, India. Sage.

Articles (selection):
i. Bavinck, M. and J. Gupta 2014. Legal pluralism in aquatic regimes: A challenge for governance. Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability, December 2014 issue.
ii. Bavinck, M. 2014. Investigating poverty through the lens of riches – immigration and segregation in Indian capture fisheries. Development Policy Review 32 (1):33-52.
iii. Bavinck, M., D. Johnson, O. Amarasinghe, J. Rubinoff, S. Southwold, and K.T. Thomson, 2013. From Indifference to Mutual Support – A Comparative Analysis of Legal Pluralism in the Governing of South Asian Fisheries, European Journal of Development Studies Vol. 25, 4, 621–640
iv. Pollnac, R., M. Bavinck, and I. Monnereau, 2012. Job satisfaction in fisheries compared, Social Indicators Research, 15 pp.
v. Thorpe, A., M. Bavinck, and S. Coulthard 2011. Tracking the debate around Marine Protected Areas: key issues and the BEG framework. Environmental Management 47: 546-563.
vi. Bavinck, M. and V. Vivekanandan 2011. Conservation, conflict and the governance of fisher wellbeing – Analysis of the Establishment of the Gulf of Mannar National Park and Biosphere Reserve, Environmental Management 47: 593-602.
vii. Jentoft, S., M. Bavinck, D.S. Johnson, and K.T. Thomson 2009. Fisheries co-management and legal pluralism: how an analytical problem becomes an institutional one. Human Organization 68 (1): 27-38.
viii. Kooiman, J. M. Bavinck, R. Chuenpagdee, R. Mahon, R. Pullin 2008. Interactive governance and governability: an introduction. The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies 7 (1): 11 pp.
ix. Bavinck, M. 2005. Understanding fisheries conflicts in the South – a legal pluralist perspective. Society and Natural Resources 18 (9): 805-20.
x. Bavinck, M. 2003. The spatially splintered state: myths and realities in the regulation of marine fisheries in Tamil Nadu, India. Development and Change, 34 (4) 633-657.