Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the dynamics of national coastal policy change: Policy narratives for South Africa and Tanzania
by Mclean, Bernice, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2010, 287; 3423411
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the evolution of coastal policy in sub-Saharan Africa. While few coastal nations in sub-Saharan Africa have formulated and institutionalized national coastal policy frameworks, the research argues that stronger governance of coastal and marine resources could help to mitigate coastal degradation and contribute to priorities such as poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. The research involved an analysis of both regional and national coastal policy processes in South Africa and in Tanzania. The aim of the research was to draw lessons from the development of the two national coastal policy frameworks to contribute to improved governance of coastal resources in the countries, the region, and elsewhere.

Drawing from an evolutionary approach to policy development and change and using grounded theory to guide the analysis, a dynamic policy analysis framework was used to construct coastal policy narratives. These narratives provided a useful platform to examine a number of variables relating to the policy preparation, formulation and institutionalization processes including: coastal policy discourses; the nature of the socio-economic and political contexts; the significance of interests, knowledge and power; and the role of policy actors. Data for the research were obtained through interviews and discussions with twenty-nine key informants between 2005 and 2009 and through observation of meetings and processes and a literature review.

The research yielded some key findings regarding regional and national coastal governance. Coastal policy discourses at different scales intersect and influence each other. Regional coastal discourses can provide a useful platform for integrated coastal management activities at the national-level but need to be embedded into tangible national structures or processes. Policy actors play a critical role in making connections across policy streams to: open policy windows; maximize policy implementation opportunities; mitigate challenges to the process; and manage interests and power. The activities of policy actors and the unique socio-political and economic contexts contribute to key differences in national policy development processes. The research shows, therefore, that consideration of the specific contextual realities can support the creation of sound and relevant coastal policy frameworks. Finally, dynamic policy analyses can significantly inform the evaluation of coastal policy initiatives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cicin-Sain, Biliana
Commitee: Agardy, Tundi, Glavovic, Bruce, Kempton, Willett
School: University of Delaware
Department: Marine Studies
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-B 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Environmental management, Legal Studies, Political science
Keywords: Coastal management, Marine policy, National coastal policy, Policy change, South africa, Tanzania
Publication Number: 3423411
ISBN: 9781124241975
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