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Globalization, Scottish Fisheries and 'Politcal Work': Global-EU-Local Dialectics

Caitríona Carter

International fisheries face a number of common challenges, most significantly how to conserve planetary resources whilst ensuring the survival of local communities. In the face of global re-structuring of fisheries, a standard narrative views fishing communities as being 'at risk' from global forces - such as the internationalisation of the sourcing of supplies - and fishermen as 'victims'. However, recent changes made by actors within the Scottish fishing industry challenge this view and demonstrate that relationships between the global and the local are far more complex than the standard narrative has assumed. That change has occurred within the Scottish fishing industry is particularly unexpected given another commonly held view that the European Union (EU)'s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) constrains political action at local levels. For, 'political work' carried out by Scottish actors took place in an EU regulatory context whereby global impacts upon production, inter-firm relations and commercial relationships are refracted by EU/CFP rules. This paper - along with others on the panel - demonstrates that only by applying clear analytical concepts like 'political work' can research accurately capture the causalities of the linkages between globalization and European integration across different industrial scales.

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