I am a sociologist from Wageningen University (Netherlands), where I in 2006 finished my PhD thesis ion the political accommodation of value-conflicts in Dutch rural land use. I have also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences (2007-2010), and am currently employed as researcher at the Baltic Nest Institute/Stockholm Resilience Centre.
My research interests are:
- Governance of natural resource use
- The social diversity of natural resource use
- Theorizing processes of social change
I am involved in the project Regime Shifts in the Baltic Sea Ecosystem - Modelling Complex Adaptive Ecosystems and Governance Implications, where I currently focus on two research areas:
1. The complexity of compliance: Investigating hos different "recipes" of conditions and mechanisms drive processes that lead to compliant and noncompliant behavior with regards to limiting fishing effort in the Baltic Sea in order to sustain marine ecosystem services in the long run.
2. Styles of fishing: Constructing a meaningful typology of the genesis and development of fishing styles in the Baltic Sea, intending to show how fishers differently respond to regime shifts, and how their adaptive behavior impacts differently upon both social and ecological conditions.
Read more about these two projects here.
Boonstra, W.J. & Nguyen Bach Dang (2010) A history of breaking laws – Social dynamics of non-compliance in Vietnamese marine fisheries. Marine Policy 34 (6), pp. 1261-1267.
Whether or not fishers comply with regulation depends on the economic and social context in which they operate their vessels. This is how conventional theory explains the phenomenon of non-compliance. It treats state–community interaction processes not as direct causes for non-compliance but rather as background conditions shaping individual fishers’ perception and decisions for action. This paper argues that conventional theory fails to include the dynamics of tempo-relational processes between state and communities, which explains collective patterns of non-compliance in fisheries. The paper addresses this hiatus in the literature, using a process-sociological approach to analyze non-compliance in Vietnamese marine fisheries. The analysis highlights that Vietnamese marine fisheries are mainly regulated through informal networks of trust and mistrust, which function through their interplay with the highly centralized and formalized Vietnamese state. Based on this assessment, the paper concludes that outcomes of processes of the dynamic social interplay between state and communities are semi-dependent on individual perception and action, and as such have a causal effect of their own on patterns of non-compliance in fisheries.
Boonstra, W.J. & B.B. Bock (2009) Fallacies of virtualisation: a case study of farming, manure, landscape and Dutch rural policy. Science, Technology & Human Values 34 (4): 427-448.
The recent rapprochement between Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Political Science (PS) is induced by the broadened understanding of political action. The debate concerning the nature of ‘‘the political’’ produces an important question concerning the possibilities of an issue- or object-oriented focus for understanding political action. The purpose of this article is to contribute to this debate through an analysis of how relations between material and social entities are continuously recontextualized and decontextualized in social and political interaction. The authors discuss established approaches to explain the concept of virtualization. Virtualization is then used in a case study on the implementation of manure regulation in East Fryslân, the Netherlands, to illustrate how cases or issues are virtualized in political decision making, which produces initial presumptions that carry conclusive weight. The authors conclude that a broad understanding of the political in both STS and PS can only be sustained through an understanding of how relations between social and material entities are continuously decontextualized and recontextualized in political and social interaction.
Boonstra, W.J. & A. van den Brink, (2007), Controlled decontrolling: involution and democratisation in Dutch rural planning, Planning Theory and Practice.8 (4), pp. 473-488.
The debate between proponents of collaborative planning theory and their critics on the dynamics of power in planning highlights a discrepancy between the norms and the practices of democratic planning. According to the norm of democratic planning, all participants should have an equal opportunity to influence and to realize a plan's objectives, but practice has shown that power is unequally divided between people, privileging some and excluding others. This raises the important issue of how normative aspirations of deliberative planning can be reconciled with actual planning practices. This article discusses this question, exploring the power relationships and institutional transformations that influence planning using two case studies about conflicts over Dutch rural land use.