The Aquatic Invasion: Assembling Transboundary Governance Capacity for Prevention and Detection
International Journal of Water Governance , Volume 2016 - Issue 4:6 p. 91- 110
This case examines the transboundary governance architecture for addressing the problem of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes Basin. The analytical focus is on the contribution of institutions and networks to transboundary cooperative capacity and the promotion of effective working arrangements with respect to prevention and early detection. We utilize the four indicators employed in this special issue – functional intensity, nature of compliance mechanisms, stability and resilience and legitimacy – to assess the functions and operation of institutions and networks. We find that the transboundary governance architecture for aquatic invasive species is functionally intense, operating in the sphere of cooperation and often harmonization across both informal networks and more formal institutions. This architecture also utilizes a range of compliance mechanisms which have served to bring about greater harmonization of requirements, particularly for preventing the introduction and transport of new invasive species around the Basin. These efforts and activities are broadly seen as legitimate, due to concerted consensus-building and public information campaigns conducted by the networks, as well as enhanced participation in transboundary policy processes. The stability and resilience of this architecture, buoyed over recent decades by institution-network connections, is however being undermined by ongoing austerity measures.