Andrew Song is ARC Discorvery Early Career Research Fellow (DECRA). His research interests are in the area of governance and geography of coastal and inland fisheries, with particular reference to a small-scale sector. His recent work is focusing on the transboundary and multiscalar governance of small-scale fisheries as it relates to the issues of illegal fishing and maritime security.
After completing a PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2014 and spending a year at McGill University as a postdoc, he spent three years at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in James Cook University in 2016 working as a research fellow. During this time 2016-2018, he also held a joint affiliation with WorldFish.
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Understanding why institutions fail is a major concern for natural resource governance. In systems where resources are managed locally, failure is often attributed to the rules poorly fitting the social-ecological system. But what might also bring failure is the manner with which the rules are ‘fitted’ to the system. This paper argues that the conceptual development of institutional failure could be made more tenable with cybernetics – the science of control and feedback. In our case study and process tracing of a ‘market’ institution (an open-air fish market in Greenland), we show how recently implemented European food safety regulations have generated unintended negative consequences, limiting Inuit access to marine foodstuffs, altering the social characteristics of food exchange, and giving rise to underground markets for marine foods. These outcomes signal the failure of reforms to this market institution, but not necessarily why it failed. We show how cybernetic orders explain institutional failure, focusing on how command-and-control-style decisions to intervene in marine food trading and handling (considered as the first-order cybernetics) fostered public doubt for the scientific expertise underpinning the reforms, and ultimately led to a public rejection and closure of a new, hygienic, multi-million-dollar marketplace for marine foods. We clarify how second-order cybernetic elements — such as legitimacy, reflexivity, co-design, and interaction among governance actors — could have prevented the observed outcome. Our case expands the conceptual development of institutional failure and clarifies how the lens of cybernetics can inform the study and practice of institutional change in fisheries governance.
Song, AM, Scholtens, J, Barclay, K, Bush, SR, Fabinyi, M, Adhuri, DS & Haughton, M 2020, 'Collateral damage? Small-scale fisheries in the global fight against IUU fishing', FISH AND FISHERIES.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lima, A, Kim, D, Song, AM, Hickey, GM & Temby, O 2019, 'Trust and influence in the Gulf of Mexico's fishery public management network', Sustainability (Switzerland), vol. 11, no. 21.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 by the authors. Sustainable fishery management is a complex multi-sectoral challenge requiring substantial interagency coordination, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. While scholars of public management network theory and natural resource management have identified trust as one of the key ideational network properties that facilitates such interaction, relatively few studies have operationalized and measured the multiple dimensions of trust and their influence on collaboration. This article presents the results of an exploratory study examining the Gulf of Mexico fishery management network comprised of more than 30 stakeholder organizations. Using an empirically validated survey instrument, the distribution of four types of trust, three gradations of influence, and the degree of formality and informality in actor communications were assessed across the fishery public management network. The analysis reveals generally low levels of interorganizational procedural trust and a high degree of network fragmentation along the international border. Civil servants based at U.S. organizations reported nearly no interactions with Mexican agencies, and vice versa. Rational (calculative) trust was the most important in bringing about reported change in other organizations, while dispositional distrust and affnitive (relational) trust also had significant effects. The results suggest that, although transactional interorganizational relationships prevail in Gulf of Mexico fishery governance, well-developed professional relationships contribute meaningfully to the reported success of public fishery network management and warrants further policy attention in order to help ensure sustainability.
Song, AM, Cohen, PJ, Hanich, Q, Morrison, TH & Andrew, N 2019, 'Multi-scale policy diffusion and translation in Pacific Island coastal fisheries', Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 168, pp. 139-149.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Multilateral consensus forged among heads of states must be value-additive and relevant at the national level to facilitate on-ground implementation. Yet, despite general optimism and advances in policy understanding, multi-scale diffusion remains a challenge with little certainty in outcomes. This study focuses on examining intermediary dynamics occurring within national policy apparatus that can influence domestic uptake of policy innovation. We analyse the anticipated spread of two supranational policies on coastal fisheries in the Pacific region – the 'small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines’ and ‘the New Song’ – in three countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Our approach combines instrumental perspectives on ‘policy coherence’ with cognitive–normative perspectives on ‘policy image’. Accordingly, we use two methods: a document-based comparison of the policies produced at different levels and interviews with national government officers in charge of policy deliberation and delivery. We find supranational-to-national policy coherence across most prescribed policy themes, except for emergent social themes such as ‘gender’ and ‘human rights–based approaches’. The views of government managers substantiate, and further augment, this finding. Crucially, managers' images (encompassing judgements, aspirations and convictions) represent personal and practical attributes involved in policy interpretation and implementation. Multi-scale policy diffusion is thus a translational process mediated by national-level staff, and managers' policy images offer nuanced and dynamic insights into why some policies are slow to take root while others take different shape to their agreed meanings. Analysts and policymakers must consider and mobilise translational approaches and policy images in order to understand and facilitate successful domestic implementation of international agreements.
Song, AM, Hoang, VT, Cohen, PJ, Aqorau, T & Morrison, TH 2019, '‘Blue boats’ and ‘reef robbers’: A new maritime security threat for the Asia Pacific?', Asia Pacific Viewpoint, vol. 60, no. 3, pp. 310-324.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 The Authors. Asia Pacific Viewpoint published by Victoria University of Wellington and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ – small wooden-hulled fishing boats – are now entering the territorial waters of Pacific Island countries and illegally catching high-value species found on remote coastal reefs. Crossing several international boundaries and traversing a distance of over 5000 km, these intrusions have alarmed Oceanic countries, including Australia. Lacking administrative capacity as well as jurisdictional authority to effectively control the vast stretches of island coastlines individually, governments and intergovernmental bodies in the region have called for strengthened coordination of surveillance efforts while also pressuring Vietnam diplomatically. This paper reviews these latest developments and is the first to provide a focused assessment of the issue. Through the lens of Copenhagen School of securitisation theory, we analyse responses of national and regional actors and their portrayal in online media to understand how blue boats are constructed as a security threat within a narrative of maritime, food and human security. Arguably, Australia together with the Forum Fisheries Agency, who advise on the governance of offshore tuna resources, have so far acted most decisively – in a way that might see them extend their strategic role in the region. We propose a comprehensive empirical research agenda to better understand and manage this nascent, flammable and largely unpredictable inter-regional phenomenon.
Song, AM, Saavedra Cisneros, A, Temby, O, Sandall, J, Cooksey, RW & Hickey, GM 2019, 'On Developing an Inter-Agency Trust Scale for Assessing Governance Networks in the Public Sector', International Public Management Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 691-710.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017, Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This article presents the development and validation of a psychometric scale for assessing public sector inter-agency trust. The instrument is grounded in contemporary trust theory and methodologically adapted from a measure developed for private sector alliances. Tested using four discrete studies of governance networks, each addressing transboundary environmental issues such as climate change and fisheries, the scale exhibits reasonably valid psychometric properties while also enabling visualized analysis of networked trust distributions. Based on this work, we outline further research needs with a view to stimulating greater trust research in governance networks and facilitating more collaborative and innovative policy outcomes in the public sector.
Song, AM, Temby, O, Kim, D, Saavedra Cisneros, A & Hickey, GM 2019, 'Measuring, mapping and quantifying the effects of trust and informal communication on transboundary collaboration in the Great Lakes fisheries policy network', Global Environmental Change, vol. 54, pp. 6-18.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 The Authors Ecosystem-based management of fisheries and other transboundary natural resources require a number of organizations across jurisdictions to exchange knowledge, coordinate policy goals and engage in collaborative activities. Trust, as part of social capital, is considered a key mechanism facilitating the coordination of such inter-organizational policy networks. However, our understanding of multi-dimensional trust as a theoretical construct and an operational variable in environmental and natural resource management has remained largely untested. This paper presents an empirical assessment of trust and communication measures applied to the North American Great Lakes fisheries policy network. Using a scale-based method developed for this purpose, we quantify the prevalence of different dimensions of trust and in/formal communication in the network and their differentiated impacts on decision-making and goal consensus. Our analysis reveals that calculation-based ‘rational trust’ is important for aligning mutual goals, but relationship-based ‘affinitive trust’ is most significant for influencing decision-making. Informal communication was also found to be a strong predictor of how effectively formal communication will influence decision-making, confirming the “priming” role of informal interactions in formal inter-agency dealings. The results also show the buffering and interactive functions of these components in strengthening institutional resilience, with procedural trust undergirding the system to compensate for a lack of well-developed relationships. Overall, this study provides evidence to suggest that informal communication and multi-dimensional trust constitute a crucial element for improving collaboration and reducing conflict in the networked governance of transboundary natural resource systems.
Steenbergen, DJ, Fabinyi, M, Barclay, K, Song, AM, Cohen, PJ, Eriksson, H & Mills, DJ 2019, 'Governance interactions in small-scale fisheries market chains: Examples from the Asia-Pacific', Fish and Fisheries, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 697-714.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Small-scale fisheries are subject to various governing institutions operating at different levels with different objectives. At the same time, small-scale fisheries increasingly form part of domestic and international market chains, with consequent effects for marine environments and livelihoods of the fishery-dependent. Yet there remains a need to better understand how small-scale fisheries market chains interact with the range of governance institutions that influence them. In this paper, we examine how multiple governance systems function along market chains, in order to identify opportunities for improved multiscale governance. We use three small-scale fisheries with varying local to global market chains operating in the Asia-Pacific region to develop a framework for analysis. Drawing from Interactive Governance theory we identify governing systems that have come to operate at particular sections in each market chain. We recognize four institutions that shape the governance over the length of the chain; namely those centred on (a) government, (b) private sector and pricing, (c) decentralized multistakeholder management and (d) culture and social relations. The framework shows how diverse arrangements of these governing institutions emerge and take effect along market chains. In doing so, we seek to move away from prescribed “ideals” of universal governing arrangements for fisheries and their market chains, and instead illuminate how governing systems function interactively across multiple scales.