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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

A history of breaking laws-Social dynamics of non-compliance in Vietnamese marine fisheries

Boonstra Wiebren J., Nguyen Bach Dang


Whether or not fishers comply with regulation depends on the economic and social context in which they operate their vessels. This is how conventional theory explains the phenomenon of noncompliance. It treats state-community interaction processes not as direct causes for non-compliance but rather as background conditions shaping individual fishers' perception and decisions for action. This paper argues that conventional theory fails to include the dynamics of tempo-relational processes between state and communities, which explains collective patterns of non-compliance in fisheries. The paper addresses this hiatus in the literature, using a process-sociological approach to analyse noncompliance in Vietnamese marine fisheries. The analysis highlights that Vietnamese marine fisheries are mainly regulated through informal networks of trust and mistrust, which function through their interplay with the highly centralised and formalised Vietnamese state. Based on this assessment, the paper concludes that outcomes of processes of the dynamic social interplay between state and communities are semi-dependent on individual perception and action, and as such have a causal effect of their own on patterns of non-compliance in fisheries. (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Non-compliance; Process-sociological approach; Sociology; Marine fisheries; Case study; Vietnam

Published in

Marine Policy
2010, Volume: 34, number: 6, pages: 1261–1267
Publisher: Elsevier

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences
    Fish and Aquacultural Science
    Economics and Business

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