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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2020

An (Urban) Political Ecology approach to Small-Scale Fisheries in the Global South

Kadfak, Alin; Oskarsson, Patrik


This article applies an (Urban) Political Ecology lens to an urban fishing community in India to understand how people are affected by coastal transformations involving intertwined socio-economic and biophysical processes. Despite urbanization proceeding swiftly across most of the world, the literature on Small-Scale Fisheries has only partially included urbanization processes in its analysis. This is unfortunate, we argue, since urban fisheries can enrich the field by providing insights into complex settings of emerging economic opportunity colliding with traditional livelihoods and community belonging. In such settings rapid biophysical shifts, including those of built nature, become intimately entangled with social transformations under intensifying, politically contested, economic activities. To capture these dynamics, we construct a framework consisting of three theoretical concepts from Political Ecology and Urban Political Ecology; the assemblage of the social and the natural, contested urban landscapes, and identity politics. We conclude that theoretical insights from (Urban) Political Ecology can help Small-Scale Fisheries research understand the inter-relatedness of human and biophysical environments in co-constituting contested coastal transformations. This is since fishing lives and livelihoods do not only depend on the ability to access and control marine resources, but also on the possibilities to stake claims over dynamic coastal spaces, under the influence of wider political and economic transitions like those generated by urbanisation.


Urban Political Ecology; Small-Scale Fisheries; Assemblage; Contested urban landscape; Identity politics; Coastal transformations

Publicerad i

2020, Volym: 108, sidor: 237-245