Sarah Ebel

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Maine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9454

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Ebel, Sarah A., U. of Maine, Orono, ME - To aid research on 'Policy, Agency, and Collective Action: A Multilevel Analysis of Chile's Territorial User Rights in Fisheries Policy,' supervised by Dr. Christina M. Beitl

Preliminary abstract: Studies of collective action, the action taken by a group in pursuit of a shared interest, in natural resource settings are often limited to its role in the formation of institutions for resource stewardship. This theoretical and empirical emphasis ignores the salient ways in which individuals are influenced by political structures and act collectively to contest policy and redefine power. This research draws upon anthropological understandings of policy, structure, and human agency to elucidate how policy constrains or facilitates individuals’ behaviors in Chile’s Territorial User Rights in Fisheries (TURFs) policy and illuminate the factors that contribute to effective collective action at three institutional scales: local, regional, and national. Chile’s TURFs policy requires fishers to form local fishing unions to manage marine resources. In April 2016, a significant environmental change impacted the Los Lagos Region of Chile, closing all access to fishing. Fishers lost their livelihoods and began to protest the government, demanding reparations for loss and changes to the TURFs policy. Using participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and structured surveys, this research will identify fishers’ objectives for collective action, elicit fishers’ attitudes towards the TURFs policy, and explain how fishers are limited or mobilized by the TURFs policy and the factors which contribute to achieving their desired outcomes.