The limits of private Governance ;  Norms and Rules in a Mediterranean Fishery

Par Florian Grisel

Publié chez Hart Publishing Oxford ; New York , 2021

ISBN 9781509938148.

 Is there a future for the law? In this book, Florian Grisel addresses one of the most
fascinating questions raised by social scientists in the past few decades. Since the
1980s, socio-legal scholars have argued that governance based on social norms
(or ‘private governance’) can offer an alternative to regulation by the law. On this
account, private governance could be socially efficient and even optimal compared
with other modes of governance.

The Limits of Private Governance supplements this optimistic analysis of private
governance by assessing the long-term evolution of a private order in the fishery
of Marseille. In the last eight centuries, the fishers of Marseille have regulated their
community without apparent means of legal support from the French state. In
the early 15th century, they even created an organisation called the Prud’homie de
Pêche in order to regulate their fishery.

Based on archival evidence, interviews and ethnographic data, Grisel examines
the evolution of the Prud’homie de Pêche and argues that the strong social norms
in which it is embedded are not only powerful tools of governance, but also forces
of inertia that have constrained its regulatory action.
The lessons drawn from this book will appeal to academics, policy-makers
and members of the general public who have an interest in the governance of our
modern societies.


Table des matières


  1. Social Order in the Fishery of Marseille
    I. Introduction
    II. The Rise of Private Orders
    A. The Pioneers of Private Ordering: Two Main Strands of Scholarship
    B. The Building Blocks of Private Governance
    C. Challenges
    D. Methodology
    III. The Prud’homie: A System of Private Governance?
    A. Long-Term Relations
    B. Circulation of Information
    C. The Paradox of the Prud’homie
    IV. Norms and Rules in Systems of Private Governance
    A. Norm-Based Order
    B. Rule-Based Order
    V. Conclusion
  2. From Norms to Rules
    I. Introduction
    II. The Fishers of Marseille and their Social Norms
    A. Cooperation Among Fishers in Ancient Marseille
    B. The Guild of Fishers in the Commune of Marseille
    C. Norms and Conflict Resolution in the Middle Ages
    III. The Birth of the Prud’homie and its Rule-Making Functions
    A. The Medieval Notion of Prud’homie
    B. The Birth of the Prud’homie
    C. The Rule-Making Functions of the Prud’homie
    i. Creating Rules
    ii. Collecting Rules
    iii. Applying Rules
    IV. Accommodating New Practices: The Case of the Floating Nets
    A. Floating Nets and Tuna Fishing
    B. Floating Nets and Sardine Fishing
    V. Conclusion


  1. Along Came Globalisation
    I. Introduction
    II. The Madragues in the Fishery of Marseille
    A. The Equal-Shareholding System
    B. The Tenancy System
    C. Growing Debt and Social Conflicts
    D. The Proliferation of the Madragues and the Decline of Tuna Stocks
    III. Labour Migrations and the Arrival of the Catalans
    A. The Arrival of the Catalans
    B. Tit-for-Tat in the Fishery of Marseille
    C. Increased Tensions
    IV. Conclusion
  2. A Battle of Norms
    I. Introduction
    II. Engines and Dragnets
    A. The Rise of the Engine as a Prime Mover
    B. In Defence of Dragnets: Bregin, Eyssaugue, Gangui and Pêche au Boeuf
    C. Modernity Meets History: The Race Towards Engine Power
    i. Set-Net Fishing
    ii. Purse-Seine Fishing
    iii. Trawler Fishing
    III. Dynamite Fishing
    A. Explosives and Dynamite
    B. Lethal Weapons in the Fishery of Marseille
    C. Blasting the Fishery: The Use of Dynamite in Marseille
    IV. Electric Light as Bait
    A. The Tradition of Fire Fishing
    B. The Birth of the ‘fée électricité’
    i. Accommodating Traditional and Modern Techniques: The Emergence of the Lamparo
    V. Conclusion
    Postscript: Provençal Poem by Pierre Molinari (1875), The Massacre of the Sea Perpetrated by the Tradespeople or the Destruction of Fish


  1. Law and (Private) Order
    I. Introduction
    II. The Creeping Codification of the Prud’homie
    A. The Great Maritime Ordinance of 1681
    B. The Council of State’s Decision of 1738
    C. The Presidential Decrees of 1852 and 1859
    D. Challenges to the Powers of the Prud’homie before the Supreme Court
    i. The Canesse Case
    ii. The Galiffet Case
    E. The Decree of 1852
    F. The Decree of 1859
    III. The State Strikes Back
    A. A Failed Attempt to Curtail the Prud’homie’s Powers
    B. Grandval and the Decision of the Council of State (1962)
    IV. Fill or Kill: The EU’s Regulatory Agenda
    A. The EU Enters the Game: Regulating the Fishery from Above
    B. The Prud’homie: ‘Not a Court or Tribunal’?
    V. Conclusion
  2. Between Facts and Beliefs
    I. Introduction
    II. The Precarious Survival of the Prud’homie
    A. The Community of Fishers in the Past Decades
    i. A Social Trauma: The Bombing of St Jean (1943)
    ii. Demographic Changes
    B. Whither the Prud’homie?
    i. The Prud’homie: An Empty Regulatory Shell?
    ii. The Prud’homie as a Cultural Symbol
    iii. The Persistence of Social Norms
    III. The Limits of Private Governance
    A. Open Norms, Closed Rules
    B. Normative Resilience, Institutional Schizophrenia and Paranomie
    C. The Nature of Social Norms
    IV. Conclusion