Community Economies

Kevin St. Martin

Contact Details:
Qualifications

2000 National Research Council (NRC) Associateship.

1999 Ph.D., Graduate School of Geography, Clark University .

1989 MSc, Geography, University of Massachusetts , Amherst .

1985 BA, Geography, University of Massachusetts , Amherst

Research Areas:

I am a human geographer whose work is at the intersection of economic geography, political ecology, and critical applications of GIScience. My research concerns the development and institutionalization of economic and environmental discourse. It emerges from a strong background in both social theory and spatial analysis, and it has been clearly and consistently linked to issues of environmental policy. While at Rutgers, I have worked on several well-funded research projects that have in common the regulation and transformation of the marine environment.

In particular, my research uses the paradigmatic case of fisheries in the U.S. Northeast to better understand the power of discourse to shape economic and environmental practices. Within this context I examine the potential for community participation in development and resource management, the relationship between local ecological knowledge and formal science, and the representation of resource dependent communities.

My current research focuses on the implementation and practice of new forms of governance such as ecosystems-based management and Marine Spatial Planning and their implications for community economic and environmental well-being.

Publications

Toward a Cartography of the Commons: Constituting the Political and Economic Possibilities of Place

Kevin St. Martin

Competing with the cartography of capitalism, undermining its power to fix resources as open to capitalist appropriation and space as enclosed, will require a cartography of the commons that makes visible community and commons processes; it will require a shift in strategy from explicating and defending existing commons to mapping spaces into which a commons future might be projected. The “Buffalo Commons” and a map-based project in New England fisheries link new spatial imaginaries with desires for and enactments of alternative economic initiatives. Each project rereads economic and environmental processes relative to the potential of the commons rather than the potential of capitalism.

 

St. Martin, K. 2009. “Toward a Cartography of the Commons: Constituting the Political and Economic Possibilities of Place” Professional Geographer 61(4): 493-507.

The Difference that Class Makes: Neoliberalization and Non-Capitalism in the Fishing Industry of New England

Kevin St. Martin

Fishing economies are typically represented as pre-capitalist and as a barrier to capital accumulation rather than as an alternative economy with its own potentials. Privatization (and capitalism) appears logical and inevitable because “there is no alternative” described or given. The class analysis presented here focuses on questions of property and subjectivity and describes fishing as a non-capitalist and community-based economy consonant with both a tradition of common property and an image of “fishermen” as independent and interested in fairness and equity. While the latter is associated with a neoliberal subject aligned with the capitalist economy, a class analysis of fishing repositions “fishermen” as community subjects aligned with a community economy.

 

St. Martin, K. 2007.“The Difference that Class Makes: Neoliberalization and Non-Capitalism in the Fishing Industry of New England” Antipode 39(3): 527-549.

The Impact of "Community" on Fisheries Management in the U.S. Northeast

Kevin St. Martin

The discourse of fisheries science and management displaces community and culture from the essential economic dynamic of fisheries. The goal of this dominant discourse is to enclose fisheries, to constitute it as within the singular and hegemonic economy of capitalism. Alternative economies, such as those based on the presence of community, are always seen as either existing before or beyond the dominant economic formation. The category of community is, nevertheless, being incorporated into contemporary fisheries science and management where it has the potential to disrupt the ontological foundations of the current management regime. This paper explores this potential disruption.

 

St. Martin, K. 2006. “The Impact of "Community" on Fisheries Management in the U.S. Northeast,” Geoforum 37(2) 169-184.

Mapping Economic Diversity in the First World: The Case of Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

This paper challenges the ways in which the First World/Third World binary, coupled with a "capitalocentric" discourse of economic development, limit possibilities for economies of community, cooperation and participation. Fisheries are used as an example to argue that undermining the presence of capitalism in the First World and making space for that which has been excluded (for example, community-based and territorial fisheries) requires a new economic and spatial imaginary.

 

St. Martin, K. 2005. “Mapping Economic Diversity in the First World : The Case of Fisheries,” Environment and Planning A 37: 959-979.

Disrupting Enclosure in New England Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

"The commons" is often represented in terms that place capitalism at the center of the story, thus making "a commons future" difficult to imagine. This paper examines this problematic through research on the common property management regime of New England fisheries, seeking to offer alternative representations of commons that might open up economic possibility.

St. Martin, K. 2005. “Disrupting Enclosure in New England Fisheries,” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 16(1): 63-80.

Making Space for Community Resource Management in Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

This article draws on field research in New England to challenge conventional individualized accounts of fishery dynamics and develop a representation of fisheries as diverse sites of community organization and cooperative management of common property. This is a "re-mapping," both literal and figurative, of the landscapes of fishery practice as a strategy to open more possibilities for communal resource management.

 

St. Martin , K. 2001. “Making Space for Community Resource Management in Fisheries,” The Annals of the Association of American Geographers 91(1): 122-142.