Dr. Maria Espinosa Romero

The Shadow of State Hierarchy

Year: 2021

Juan Calors Seijo, Julieta Marotta and Michal Natorski


My research investigates the shadow of hierarchy in marine fisheries governance, using Mexican fisheries as the case study. The shadow of hierarchy refers to the use of non-traditional hierarchical forms through which the state indirectly influences governance in order to achieve policy outcomes. Although the shadow of hierarchy has been investigated in different policy arenas, it remains understudied in the fisheries domain. To contribute to this research gap, this study identifies and deepens on the analysis of three meta-governance functions performed by the coastal state in the governing of fisheries and fleets within its jurisdiction. These meta-governance functions are: i) the creation of coexisting governance modes; ii) the steering andshaping of the general patters of fishing; and iii) the development of institutional settings for fisheries sustainability. This research applies three theoretical approaches (i.e., interactive governance, social practices, institutional impact) to understand the meta-governance functions from different and complementary perspectives. The results illustrates how a coastal state has the power to retract and expand its shadow, within its jurisdiction, according to its priorities and capacities. Although the state is immersed into different modes of governance, it preserves the capacity to indirectly influence governance systems, in order to compensate for losing day-to-day command and control in fisheries governance. It does so by regulating the boundaries of actors’ participation, the cognitive practice of fishing, and the institutional settings for different resource types in order to ensure sustainability.

Selected publications by Maria Espinosa Romero