Unpacking Power Relation and Actor Interactions in Senegal Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas Governance

This abstract presents insight from a field data collection study conducted on the topic of power relations and actor interactions in the governance of fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs) in Senegal. The objective of the study was to unpack the complex dynamics and interplay between actors involved in the management of these coastal resources.

Through a mixed-methods approach, including interviews, observations, and document analysis, data was collected from key stakeholders, such as local fishermen, community leaders, government officials, representatives from NGOs, and industry players. The study focused on the regions of Senegal, specifically Saint Louis and Sangomar, where fisheries and MPAs play a significant role in the livelihoods of coastal communities.

The findings shed light on the power dynamics among actors and their interactions within the governance structures. Power was found to be unequally distributed, with certain actors exerting more influence over decision-making processes than others. Traditional power sources, such as reputation and belief systems, were identified as influential factors in shaping power relations.

The study also revealed variations in actor interactions and their implications for governance outcomes. In Saint Louis, a centralized power structure was observed, with limited interaction and weak participation of certain stakeholders, leading to challenges in conservation efforts. In contrast, Sangomar exhibited a more distributed power structure, with cooperative communities and stronger participation, indicating an endogenous initiative towards conservation.

The insights from this study contribute to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of power and actor interactions in the governance of fisheries and MPAs in Senegal. The findings highlight the importance of considering power dynamics and inclusive participation of stakeholders in decision-making processes to achieve sustainable resource management. The results can inform policy and governance interventions to address power imbalances, enhance stakeholder engagement, and promote more effective and equitable management of coastal resources in Senegal.

About Khadidiatou Senghor

I am a doctoral candidate in the Institutions and Behavioral Economics working group. My research falls under programme area 1 and I am an affiliate candidate of the BIGSSS. My research interests center around social processes in Senegal fisheries and marine protected areas, and my Ph.D. focuses on power asymmetries, actors' relationships, and institutional change. As part of my research, I will employ a range of methodologies, including qualitative interviews and network analysis, and observations, to gather data on the social processes at play in my field. I am using discourse analysis and process tracing for the analysis of these data. I would like to share insight from my field stay in Senegal where I collected data for the second paper of my PhD.

This meeting will be conducted in a hybrid format - participants are welcome to join online via Zoom, or in-person in the big seminar room in Building F6. For those wishing to join online, you may join us using the following Zoom link: