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Reef Futures: Exploring the dynamics of transformative change in marine social-ecological systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis explores issues relating to transformative change in the context of marine governance in the Coral Triangle, and the effects of such change processes on policy, stakeholder relations and management activities. Paper 1 studies how change-oriented actors (institutional entrepreneurs) operating at the international level can introduce and purposefully navigate large-scalechange processes. Paper 2 studies the impact of resource inequality on multi-stakeholder collaboration, and tackles the literature of boundary work so as to increase its usefulness for understanding complex, multi-level governance initiatives. Paper 3 explores how narratives about the marine environment are entwined with and influence critical aspects of marine ecosystem governance such as resource allocation, day-to-day management actions, stakeholder relations, and long-term ecological monitoring. Paper 4 investigates how actors at the local level can capture opportunities at higher institutional levels while at the same time catalyzing local potential for change by focusing on the interplay between strategies,opportunity and context. The results show that institutional entrepreneurship requires understanding of how strategies can be matched with opportunity and context, for example by offering a way for other actors to address key priorities and add value to their organizations. The results also show that behind the scene organizing is often a precondition for the introduction of transformative change. Shifting the process from an informal track to a formal track where ideas about transformative change can be deliberated among a broader set ofstakeholders is thus a major challenge. Moreover, a strong narrative is key to successfully introducing and driving transformative change. In this sense, the ability to articulate and distribute a narrative which tells a compelling story about the broader system is critical. Finally, power dynamics are constantly at play in transformation processes due to resource asymmetries. The thesis shows that differences in resources may influence the credibility, legitimacy, and salience of transformative change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University , 2014. , 47 p.
Keyword [en]
transformative change, marine governance, multi-stakeholder collaboration, multi-level governance, institutional entrepreneurship, boundary work, narratives, Coral Triangle
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106540ISBN: 978-91-7447-963-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106540DiVA: diva2:737078
Public defence
2014-10-09, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: In press.

Available from: 2014-09-18 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Institutional entrepreneurs, global networks, and the emergence of international institutions for ecosystem-based management: The Coral Triangle Initiative
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional entrepreneurs, global networks, and the emergence of international institutions for ecosystem-based management: The Coral Triangle Initiative
2013 (English)In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, Vol. 38, 195-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores the role of institutional entrepreneurship in the creation of an international agreement to radically transform management of coastal and marine resources in the Coral Triangle. It analyzes how institutional entrepreneurs develop strategies to overcome barriers to change and navigate opportunity contexts to mobilize support for ecosystem-based management. The analysis shows that institutional change depends on collaboration among several institutional entrepreneurs that have access to different networks and are supported by different types of organizations. It also shows that interplay between institutional entrepreneurship and high-level political leadership plays a critical role in institution building. Institutional entrepreneurs must therefore align their ideas of ecosystem-based management to multiple political priorities and transfer experience and social capital from previous multilateral projects. By supporting the development of new governance arenas for deliberation, institutional entrepreneurs may enhance the fit between domestic and multilateral policy making. Lastly, institutional entrepreneurship may raise critical questions about legitimacy, accountability and ownership.

Keyword
Institutional entrepreneurship, Environmental regime building, Institutional change, Large-scale marine governance, Social-ecological systems, The Coral Triangle Initiative
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88285 (URN)10.1016/j.marpol.2012.05.036 (DOI)000313769600022 ()
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2013-03-12 Created: 2013-03-12 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Mediating science and action across multiple boundaries in the Coral Triangle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mediating science and action across multiple boundaries in the Coral Triangle
2014 (English)In: Global Environmental Change, ISSN 0959-3780, E-ISSN 1872-9495, Vol. 29, 53-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study seeks to refine literature on boundary work by exploring how stakeholders in the Coral Triangle Initiative, an international agreement between six countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, are forging relations across various domains and governance levels, and the outcomes of this process. We do this in an effort to increase its relevance to multi-level environmental governance, and understand the challenges that face such governance. We are also interested in the pathways leading to policy outcomes that are perceived as salient, credible, and legitimate to all stakeholders involved in governance. The study shows that boundary work is challenged by resource inequalities resulting in limited knowledge diversity, blurred boundaries between science and politics, and misaligned scales. We conclude that boundary work has an important temporal dimension that has often been neglected, and that literature on boundary work must provide a conceptual guide to understand tradeoffs arising as a result of stakeholders' various strategies to engage in boundary work.

Keyword
Boundary work, Hybrid management, Science-policy, Multi-level environmental governance, Coral Triangle Initiative
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113972 (URN)10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.08.003 (DOI)000348017200006 ()
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2015-02-19 Created: 2015-02-16 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Whose Threat Counts?: Conservation Narratives in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Whose Threat Counts?: Conservation Narratives in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia
2015 (English)In: Conservation and Society, ISSN 0972-4923, E-ISSN 0975-3133, Vol. 13, no 2, 154-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ongoing global decline of coral reefs and their associated fisheries highlights issues of governance, including contrasting interpretations of the marine environment, the drivers and agents of environmental degradation, and the appropriate actions to address these. It is therefore essential to understand the social practices of value articulation through which marine ecosystems and resources are assigned meaning and recognition. In this regard, narratives identifying which aspects of the environment should be made resilient, to what threats, and through which solutions are particularly important. Such narratives may fundamentally alter marine governance by defining which knowledge counts, steering conservation activities toward certain goals, and assigning people with new identities. We explore these issues in the context of a marine national park in eastern Indonesia, where the key narratives revolve around values associated with high coral reef biodiversity. International and domestic conservation-oriented organisations promote a narrative describing the park as a success story exemplifying co-management and equality in decision-making. Furthermore, a narrative emphasising illegal fishing by outsiders creates an adversarial scenario that favours certain more powerful institutions and subsumes competing narratives emanating from disadvantaged ethnic minorities. We suggest that these narratives reflect critical issues of governance, including resource allocation, management practices, stakeholder relations, and influence conservation outcomes by favouring the protection of some species, ecosystems, and sites over others.

Keyword
marine conservation, governance, marine national park, narratives, value articulation, framing, illegal fishing, Coral Triangle Initiative, Indonesia
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121700 (URN)10.4103/0972-4923.164194 (DOI)000361056800004 ()
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
4. Improving Stewardship of Marine Resources: Linking Strategy to Opportunity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving Stewardship of Marine Resources: Linking Strategy to Opportunity
2014 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 6, no 7, 4470-4496 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The need for improved stewardship of coastal and marine resources is evident worldwide. However, complex ecosystem dynamics, institutional inertia, and budgetary constraints impede such action. This study explores how networks of change-oriented individuals or “institutional entrepreneurs” can introduce new types of human-environment interaction. The focus is on investigating the interplay between the strategies of institutional entrepreneurs and broader system dynamics that shape the context in which they are working, and possible impacts of institutional entrepreneurship on marine governance. We explore these issues in the context of Wakatobi National Park in eastern Indonesia. We suggest that creating links between different social spheres, such as between marine resource management and spirituality or between marine resource management and education, may accelerate the development of a new ecosystem stewardship.  We further suggest that the use of media has significant power to show alternative futures, but that media may also serve to objectify certain resource users and increase the complexity of marine resource management. In general, institutional entrepreneurs play an important role in capturing and managing opportunity to open up space for experimentation and novel ideas, for example by linking their ideas to broader political priorities. Yet, such strategies bear the risk of institutional capture. Finally, institutional entrepreneurs sometimes have vested interests in certain solutions that may forsake experimentation toward a sustainable future.

Keyword
Institutional entrepreneurship, marine governance, MPA, ecosystem stewardship, Wakatobi National Park, Coral Triangle
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106498 (URN)10.3390/su6074470 (DOI)000340036600027 ()
Available from: 2014-08-08 Created: 2014-08-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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