A Social Relational Network Perspective for MPA Science

Authors

  • Steven M. Alexander,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environment and Resource Studies and Environmental Change and Governance Group, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    • Correspondence

      Steven Alexander, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1. Tel: 519–888–4567;

      fax: 519.746.0292.

      E-mail: s22alexa@uwaterloo.ca; derek.armitage@uwaterloo.ca

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  • Derek Armitage

    1. Department of Environment and Resource Studies and Environmental Change and Governance Group, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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  • [The copyright line for this article was changed on February 18, 2015 after original online publication]

Abstract

This mini-review outlines the emergence and benefit of applying a structurally explicit, social relational network perspective to inform the establishment and governance of marine protected area (MPAs) and MPA networks. This is an important conservation research and policy frontier. We draw on concepts from relational sociology and social network analysis to highlight the theoretical foundations of a social relational network perspective. Selected examples are used to: (1) illustrate the analytical utility and application of this network perspective to systematically examine attributes recognized as important for MPA establishment and governance; and (2) provide new insights on crucial practices and processes (e.g., knowledge exchange), core social attributes (e.g., social capital), and the roles and positions of diverse MPA actors.

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