Is Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis a Dead Fish? The Case of the Mauritanian-EU FPA 2006-2012

Sørine Bech-Larsen, Sara Buus Marcussen & Emil Carlé Dietrich

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project performs a case study of the Mauritanian-EU FPA 2006-2012 in order to examine how Wallerstein’s world-system analysis can explain the relation between the EU and Mauritania. The project first outlines EEZs and UNCLOS and how these shape the contemporary fishery agreements. Afterwards, the Mauritanian-EU FPA 2006-2012 is outlined. There is a paradox within the agreement as the FPA aims to help Mauritania develop economically and protect the environment, yet, the opposite seems to occur. The project follows this by exploring the state of the Mauritanian economy and elaborate on the consequences of the FPA on the Mauritanian fishing sector. The Mauritanian economy is developing overall but the fishing sector is found to suffer from debt, insufficient maritime infrastructure and a lack of investment. The environmental consequences, including overfishing and environmentally damaging fishing methods by EU vessels, are then expanded upon. All of aforementioned conclusions are used to analyse the case using concepts and ideas from the world-system analysis. The EU appears to be plundering Mauritania, externalising the costs of production and the case fits into Wallerstein’s idea of the world-system in the state of crisis. The project concludes that the world-system analysis is able to explain why the EU fish in Mauritania despite economic and environmental consequences for Mauritania.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 dec. 2015
VejledereEric Komlavi Hahonou


  • EU
  • Wallerstein
  • Mauritania
  • FPA
  • World-systems analysis