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Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030773

Ethics to Intersect Civic Participation and Formal Guidance

1
DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, 1149 Brussels, Belgium
2
Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
3
Mundus maris-Sciences and Arts for Sustainability asbl, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
4
Quantitative Aquatics, Inc., Los Baños, Laguna 4033, Philippines
5
FUNPAR/IOI, CEM-UFPR Curitiba, Paraná CEP 80010-200, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Full-Text   |   PDF [267 KB, uploaded 1 February 2019]

Abstract

Sound governance arrangement in socio-ecological systems (human niche) combines different means of sense-making. The sustainability of human niche-building depends on the governability of the social-ecological systems (SES) forming the niche. Experiences from small-scale marine fisheries and seabed mining illustrate how ethical frameworks, civic participation and formalised guidance combine in the context of a “blue economy”. Three lines of inquiries contextualise these experiences driving research questions, such as “what is the function of ethics for governability?” First, complex-adaptive SES are featured to emphasise the sense-making feedback loop in SES. Actors are part of this feedback loop and can use different means of sense-making to guide their actions. Second, the “Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries” and geoethical thinking are featured to highlight the relevance of actor-centric concepts. Third, Kohlberg’s model of “stages of moral adequacy” and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are used to show how to strengthen actor-centric virtue-ethics. Combining these lines of inquiry leads to the conclusion that ethical frameworks, civic participation and formalised guidance, when put in a mutual context, support governability and multi-actor/level policy-making. Further research could explore how creativity can strengthen civic participation, a feature only sketched here. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable governance; social-ecological systems; ethical frameworks; civic participation; small-scale fisheries; moral adequacy; Law of the Sea; human niche-building sustainable governance; social-ecological systems; ethical frameworks; civic participation; small-scale fisheries; moral adequacy; Law of the Sea; human niche-building
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bohle, M.; Nauen, C.E.; Marone, E. Ethics to Intersect Civic Participation and Formal Guidance. Sustainability 2019, 11, 773.

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