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James Acheson

If you need to locate a faculty member with knowledge about particular functions of SMS (e.g., graduate admissions), you can find them on the list of current faculty committees.

James Acheson

Contact Information

James Acheson

Phone:
207 581.1898

Email/web:
Acheson@maine.edu

Address:
102B Stevens Hall
University of Maine 
Orono, ME  04469-5741

Education

Ph.D, Social Anthropology, University of Rochester

Research interests

Jim Acheson is an anthropologist whose specialty is economic anthropology. He has had a long term interest in the culture and social organization of Maine fishing communities, and the social science aspects of fisheries management. In recent years, much of Acheson's research has focused on using rational choice theory to understand the conditions under which people will constrain their own exploitive efforts in the common good and develop effective conservation institutions. Recently, he has devoted considerable time to understanding the social, cultural and economic factors underlying the development of legislation in the Maine Lobster Industry. The Maine lobster industry is very unusual in that catches have been very stable for more than half a century, and it is one in which fishermen have consistently supported effectively conservation legislation. Currently he is Principal Investigator of a project entitled "Case Studies in Co-Management" sponsored by Sea Grant which is studying the implementation of the Maine Lobster Zone Management Law�one of the first true co-management laws in the United States.

Publications

  • Capturing the Commons
    Capturing the Commons (With Bonnie McCay) Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1987. 439 pp.
  • The Lobster Gangs of Maine
    The Lobster Gangs of Maine, Durham, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1988. 181 pp.
  • Anthropology and Institutional Economics
    Anthropology and Institutional Economics. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 1994. 422 pp.
  • Human Organization
    "Accounting Concepts and Economic Opportunities in a Tarascan Pueblo: Emic and Etic Views." Human Organization 31(1): 83-91. Spring 1972.
  • Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
    "Fisheries Management and Social Context: The Case of the Maine Lobster Fishery." Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 104(4): 653-668.
  • 1976 American Anthropologist
    "New Directions in Economic Anthropology: A Comment on Kunkel." American Anthropologist 78(2): 331-335.
  • Maine Commercial Fisherman
    "Do We Want To Get There From Here? The Economic Impact of the 3 _ inch Measure in the Maine Lobster Industry." Maine Commercial Fisherman, November.
  • Agricultural Decision Making
    "Agricultural Business Choices in a Mexican Village." In, Agricultural Decision Making. pp 241-264. Peggy F. Barlett, ed. New York: Academic Press.
  • Maine Commercial Fisherman
    "Lobster Catches and Trap Construction Material." (with Robert Reidman). Published in January issue of Maine Commercial Fisherman.
  • Annual Review of Anthropology
    "Anthropology of Fishing." Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. 10, pp. 275-315.
  • American Ethnologist
    "Technical Innovation inn the New England Fin-Fishing Industry: An Examination of the Downs and Mohr Hypothesis." (with Robert Reidman). American Ethnologist 9(3) 538-558.
  • Modernization and Marine Fisheries Policy
    "Metal Traps: A Key Innovation in the Maine Lobster Industry." In, Modernization and Marine Fisheries Policy. John Maiolo and Michael Orbach, eds. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Science Press, pp. 279-312.
  • 1985 Human Organization
    Comment on "Any Comments on the Sociology Section Tony?" Human Organization 44(2): 202-203.
  • University Press of the Americas
    "Constraints on Entrepreneurship: Transaction Costs and Market Efficiency." In, Entrepreneurship and Social Change. Sidney Greenfield, ed. Lanham, MD: University Press of the Americas.
  • Antropologia Social de la Region Purepecha.
    "Tamaño de las Empresas e Innovacíon en un Pueblo Tarasco." In, Antropologia Social de la Region Purepecha. Zamora: Colegio de Michoacan.
  • Nature
    1989 "The Benefits of the Commons." (with Fikret Berkes, Daniel Feeney and Bonnie McCay). Nature 340 (No. 6229): 91-93.
  • Hombre y Ambiente
    "Las Ventajas de los Recursos Comuniatrias" with Fikret Berkes. Hombre y Ambiente 11:111- 123. Quito, Equador.
  • Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Fisheries.
    "The Maine Lobster Industry." In Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Fisheries. Michael Glantz, ed. Pp.. 147-165. Cambridge University Press.
  • The Political Economy of Customs and Culture: Informal Solutions to the Commons Problem
    1993 "Capturing the Commons: Legal and Illegal Strategies." In, The Political Economy of Customs and Culture: Informal Solutions to the Commons Problem. Terry L. Anderson and Randy Simmons, eds. pp 69-83. Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Marine Policy
    (with James A. Wilson, first author). "Chaos Complexity and Community Management of Fisheries." Marine Policy 8(4): 291-305.
  • Anthropology and Institutional Economics
    1994 "Welcome to Nobel County: A Review of Institutional Economics." In, Anthropology and Institutional Economics. pp. 3-42. James Acheson, ed. pp. 3-42. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

    1994 "Transaction Costs and Business Strategies in a Mexican Indian Pueblo." In, Anthropology and Institutional Economics. James Acheson, ed. pp. 143-166. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
    1995 "Coase Among the Purepechas: Transaction Costs and Institutional Change in a Mexican Indian Pueblo." Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics. 151(2):358-372.
  • Improving Interactions Between Coastal Science and Policy
    1995 "Environmental Protection, Fisheries Management and the Theory of Chaos". In, Improving Interactions Between Coastal Science and Policy. Washington, D.C., World Wildlife Fund. Pp. 155- 160.
  • 1996 Current Anthropology
    1996 Comment on "Applied and Action Anthropology: Ideological and Conceptual Aspects", by John Bennett Current Anthropology. Volume 36: S 39-40.
  • Island Journal
    1996 (with James A. Wilson) "From the Bottom Up: A Maine Fishery Embarks on Co-Management and Everyone is Watching." Island Journal. Vol 13:56-60.
  • American Ethnologist
    1996 "Household Organization and Budget Structures in a Purepecha Pueblo." American Ethnologist. 23(2):331-351.
  • 1996 American Anthropologist
    1996 (with James A. Wilson). "Order Out of Chaos: the Case for Parametric Fisheries Management. American Anthropologist 98(3): 579-594. (Reprinted in Bulletin de Psychologie, Paris 432:691-708. This article is translated with the title "L'ordre sorti du chaos: arguments en faveur d'une gestion parametrique des pecheries.
  • Marine Policy
    1996 (with James A. Wilson, first author) "Reply: Chaos and Parametric Management." Marine Policy 20(5): 429-438
  • 1997 Human Ecology
    1997 "The Politics of Managing the Maine Lobster Industry: 1860 to the Present." Human Ecology 25(1): 3- 25.
  • 1997 Current Anthropology
    1997 Comment on : "Changing Social Norms: Common Property Bridewealth, and Clan Exogamy". by Jean Ensminger and Jack Knight. Current Anthropology 38(1): 14-15.
  • 1997 Island Journal
    1997 "Commissioner Crie and the Lobster Fight of the Century." Island Journal 14:65-68.
  • 1997 North American Journal of Fisheries Management
    1997 (with Robert S. Steneck. "Bust and Boom in the Maine Lobster Industry: Perspectives of Fishermen and Biologists." North American Journal of Fisheries Management 17(4): 826-847.
  • 1997 Social Implications of Quota Systems in Fisheries
    1997 " The Role of Management in Changes in Maine Lobster Catches." In, Social Implications of Quota Systems in Fisheries, Eds. Gisli Palsson and Gudrun Petursdotter. (Nordic Council of Ministers). Copenhagen: TemaNord.
  • 1998 Linking Social and Ecological Systems
    1998 (with James A. Wilson and Robert S. Steneck) "Managing Chaotic Fisheries." In, Linking Social and Ecological Systems. Eds. Karl Folke and Fikret Berkes. Cambridge University Press.
  • 1998 Human Organization
    1998 "Lobster Trap Limits: A Solution to a Communal Action Dilemma." Human Organization 17(1): 43- 52.
  • Comparative Studies in Society and History
    Submitted "Distribution , Coordination Games and Lobster Management." Comparative Studies in Society and History.
  • Department of Anthropology
    In Press "Institutional Economics, Governance and Production Units." (Accepted for publication in a volume edited by Jean Ensminger, Department of Anthropology, Washington University, Saint Louis.
  • 1977 Human Ecology
    1977 Review of Fragile Structures: A Story of Oil Refineries, National Security, and the Coast of Maine, by Peter Amory Bradford. Harpers Magazine Press, New York. In: Human Ecology 4(4).
  • The Ethnohistory of a Contractual Community
    1985 Review of Dutchmen on the Bay: The Ethnohistory of a Contractual Community." By Larry Taylor University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
  • 1992 Lobstering and the Maine Coast
    1992 Review of Lobstering and the Maine Coast. By Kenneth R. Martin and Nathan R. Lippert, Bath Maine; Bath Marine Museum.
  • 1996 American Anthropologist
    1996 Review of People of the Bays and Headlands: Anthropological History and the Fate of Communities in the Unknown Labrador, by John C. Kennedy. American Anthropologist 98(3): 658-659.
  • 1997 Economics and Cultures
    1997 Review of Economics and Cultures, by Richard Wilk. Boulder, Colorado: West view Press. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
  • 1998 Current Anthropology
    Comment on "Barter and Cash Sale on Lake Titicaca: A Test of Competing Approaches" by Benjamin S. Orlove. In, Current Anthropology 27(2): 98.
  • 1998 Island Journal
    1998 "A Clash of Cultures." Island Journal Vol. 15: 74-75.
  • 1998 Fisheries Management
    In Press "The Causes of Changes in Stock Sizes: The Views of Fishermen and Scientists." In, Fisheries Management, Ed. Paul Durrenberger. Stanford/Stanford University Press.
  • 1998 Working Waterfront
    1998 Review of The Great Lobster War, by Ron Formisano. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. In Working Waterfront, January 1998.
  • 1998 Human Ecology
    1998 Review of Fish Factory, by Barbara Garrity Blake. In Human Ecology 26(1): 166-1667.
  • Foundation of Property Law
    1995 Section of: The Lobster Gangs of Maine. Reprinted in: Foundation of Property Law. Carol M. Rose (Yale Law School). Boston: Little-Brown.
  • Economics Change and Domestic Life among the Kekchi Maya in Belize
    1994 Review of Household Ecology: Economics Change and Domestic Life among the Kekchi Maya in Belize, by Richard Wilk. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • 1991 American Anthropologist
    1991. In, American Anthropologist 96(4): 1017.
  • 1990 American Anthropologist
    1990 Lake Erie Fishermen: Work, Identity and Tradition. By Timothy C. Lloyd and Patrick B. Mullen. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. 1990. In, American Anthropologist 93:(2): 457-458.
  • Where Have all the Lobsters Gone?
    1989 "Where Have all the Lobsters Gone?" Co-management of the Maine Lobster Industry. In, Common Property Resources: Economy and Community Based Sustainable Resources. Fikret Berkes, ed. London: Belhaven Press. pp. 199-217.
  • Maritime Anthropological Studies (MAST)
    "Patterns of Gear Changes in the Maine Fishing Industry: Some Implications for Management" Maritime Anthropological Studies (MAST). The Netherlands: Krips Repro Meppel.
  • Maine Historic Quarterly
    1985. 143 pp. In, Maine Historic Quarterly.
  • 1984 Human Organization
    "Government Regulation and Exploitive Capacity: The Case of the New England Groundfishery." Human Organization 43(4): 319-329.
  • Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
    1983. In, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 476: 202-203.
  • 1982 Human Organization
    "Limitations on Firm Size in a Tarascan Pueblo." Human Organization 41(4): 323-329.
  • The Fishing Ports of Maine and New Hampshire.
    The Fishing Ports of Maine and New Hampshire. (With Ann Acheson, John Bort, and Jayne Lello). Orono: University of Maine Sea Grant, 1980. 285 pp.
  • 1975 Human Ecology
    1975 "The Lobster Fiefs: Economic and Ecological Effects of Territoriality in the Maine Lobster Industry: Human Ecology 3(3): 183-207.
  • 1974 American Anthropologist
    "Tarascan Controversy: Reply to George Foster." American Anthropologist 76(1): 57-62."Reply to Mary Lee Nolan." American Anthropologist 76(1): 49-52.
  • Natural History
    "Territories of the Lobstermen." Natural History 81(4): 60-69. April 1972.
  • 1972 American Anthropologist
    "Limited Good' or Limited Goods?: Response to Economic Opportunity in a Tarascan Pueblo." American Anthropologist 74(5): 1152-1169. October 1972.
  • Material Culture: Styles, Organization, and Dynamics of Technology.
    "Technical Skill and Fishing Success in the Maine Lobster Industry." In: Material Culture: Styles, Organization, and Dynamics of Technology. Pp. 111-138. Heather Lechtman and Robert Merrill, eds. St. Paul: West Publishing Co.
  • North Atlantic Maritime Cultures
    "Variations in Traditional Inshore Fishing Rights in Maine Lobstering Communities." pp 253-276. In, North Atlantic Maritime Cultures. Raoul Anderson, ed. Mouton: The Hague.
  • Sea Grant Technical Report
    "Factors Influencing The Production of Lobster Traps." Sea Grant Technical Report 63. 36 pp. Orono: University of Maine Sea Grant.
  • Fisheries
    "Attitudes Toward Limited Entry Legislation Among Groundfishermen in Northern New England." Fisheries 5(6): 20-25.
  • Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
    "Biological and Economic Effects of Increasing the Minimum Legal Size of American Lobster in Maine." (with Robert Reidman). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 111(1): 1-12.
  • Markets and Marketing
    "The Social Organization of the Maine Lobster Market." In, Markets and Marketing. Stuart Plattner, ed. pp. 105-130. Lanham, MD: University Press of the Americas.
  • Journal of Law, Economics and Organization
    "The Maine Lobster Market: Between Market and Hierarchy." Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 1(2) 385-398.
  • Economic Anthropology
    "Management of Common Property Resources." In, Economic Anthropology. Stuart Plattner, ed. pp. 351-378. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
  • Human Ecology
    "The Tragedy of the Commons Twenty Years Later." (with Fikret Berkes, David Feeney and Bonnie McCay). Human Ecology. 18(1): 1-19.
  • Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology
    1997 "The Tragedy of the Commons". Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. Eds. David Levinson and Melvin Ember. New York: Henry Holt. Pp 1325-1327.

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