Associate Professor

Theme leader, Governance of coastal and marine systems

+46 8 674 7685, +46737 078587



Staff profile

Beatrice Crona's work focuses on resource governance issues with particular focus on marine related topics

Profile summary

  • Holds a PhD in Marine Ecotoxicology/Natural Resource Management from Stockholm University
  • Specialises in the role of social networks in natural resource governance; multilevel governance; and global marine trade
  • Executive director of The Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere programme (GEDB)

Broadly, her research can be divided into three strands:
The role of social networks in natural resource governance
This research focuses on how structural characteristics of social networks, in combination with multiple other factors, affect the outcomes of management initiatives and collective action. In particular, Crona is interested in the interplay between social capital, as measured through aspects of social networks, and agency in the form of leadership and how this affects collective action in support of environmental governance. This work is inspired by Elinor Ostrom as well as work on institutional entrepreneurs and social capital.
Ongoing studies include:
- Examining how combinations of bonding/bridging social ties, leadership and institutional context affect fisheries management outcomes in seven cooperatives on the Chilean coast (in collaboration with Stefan Gelcich).

- A comparative and longitudinal analysis of five collaborative governance initiatives on ICZM in Sweden — using a modified version of the IAD framework, and longitudinal network analysis to understand the role of social networks, network governance strategies, and previous governance structures/experiences in affecting governance outcomes (with Örjan Bodin/Annica Sandström).

Multi-level governance, knowledge transfer and the role of boundary-bridging organizations for adaptive governance
This topic includes research on how resource users and other stakeholders build and communicate their knowledge about the resource and how this feeds into the governance process at multiple levels. This includes work with local fishing communities in East Africa (Crona 2006, Crona and Bodin 2006) and Sweden (see above), but also knowledge transfer between scientist and policy-makers involved in water governance (Crona and Parker 2011, Parker and Crona 2012). The latter work has also focused on examining the socio-environmental/organization conditions that promote learning in boundary and bridging organizations and how learning can be systematically assessed in an adaptive governance context (Crona and Parker 2012).

Crona is also pursuing studies of how organizations use informal networks to address mismatches in global environmental governance and the links between such informal arrangement and formal governance structures, in collaboration with Victor Galaz and others (e.g. Galaz et al 2011).

The role of trade in marine resource governance outcomes: understanding cross-scale signals, straps and trajectories
This involves understanding how aspects of the seafood trade contribute to the ‘masking´ of signals of unsustainable use and the effects of this on governance at multiple levels (Crona et al in prep). It also includes understanding how increasing market integration plays out at local levels of small-scale fisheries, creating traps (e.g. Crona et al 2010) or helping to alleviate poverty, and how eco-labeling interacts with consumer perceptions to create outcomes of relevance for marine governance (work primarily by PhD student Malin Jonell, in collaboration with Patrik Rönnbäck and Max Troell).
For details on the publications cited see publication list

Examples of non-peer reviewed outcomes from research projects
Migration in small-scale fisheries (Policy brief): Migrant fishers and fishing in the Western Indian Ocean: Socio-economic dynamics and implications for managementPDF (pdf, 3.6 MB)

Science-Policy Interactions in the context of a boundary organization: All Things to All People: Boundary Organizations & the Contemporary Research UniversityPDF (pdf, 167.7 kB)

Roving Bandits in Marine Fisheries — 2008 Report to Swedish FAO Committee

Research Background
PhD in Marine Ecotoxicology/Natural Resource Management at the Dept of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University in Sept 2006. Thesis: Of Mangroves and Middlemen - A study of social and ecological linkages in a coastal community

2007- 2008 postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity (CSID) at Arizona State University, funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR), and was affiliated to the lab run by Associate Professors Marco Janssen and Marty Anderies, and Prof Lin Ostrom.

Media links (in Swedish)
Vill få forskare och makthavare att dra åt samma håll

EU:s subventioner utarmar världshaven

Havsförsurningen kan kosta biljoner dollar per år


Publications by Crona, Beatrice

Elasticity in ecosystem services: exploring the variable relationship between ecosystems and human well-being

Daw, T. M., C. Hicks, K. Brown, T. Chaigneau, F. Januchowski-Hartley, W. Cheung, S. Rosendo, B. Crona, S. Coulthard, C. Sandbrook, C. Perry, S. Bandeira, N. A. Muthiga, B. Schulte-Herbrüggen, J. Bosire, and T. R. McClanahan

2016 - Journal / article

Although ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as benefits people obtain from nature, we still have a poor understanding of how they actually enhance multidimensional human well-being, and how well-being is affected by ecosystem change. We develop a concept of “ecosystem service elasticity” (ES elasticity) that describes the sensitivity of human well-being to changes in ecosystems. ES Elasticity is a result of complex social and ecological dynamics and is context dependent, individually variable, and likely to demonstrate nonlinear dynamics such as thresholds and hysteresis. We present a conceptual framework that unpacks the chain of causality from ecosystem stocks through flows, goods, value, and shares to contribute to the well-being of different people. This framework builds on previous conceptualizations, but places multidimensional well-being of different people as the final element. This ultimately disaggregated approach emphasizes how different people access benefits and how benefits match their needs or aspirations. Applying this framework to case studies of individual coastal ecosystem services in East Africa illustrates a wide range of social and ecological factors that can affect ES elasticity. For example, food web and habitat dynamics affect the sensitivity of different fisheries ecosystem services to ecological change. Meanwhile high cultural significance, or lack of alternatives enhance ES elasticity, while social mechanisms that prevent access can reduce elasticity. Mapping out how chains are interlinked illustrates how different types of value and the well-being of different people are linked to each other and to common ecological stocks. We suggest that examining chains for individual ecosystem services can suggest potential interventions aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable ecosystems while mapping out of interlinkages between chains can help to identify possible ecosystem service trade-offs and winners and losers. We discuss conceptual and practical challenges of applying such a framework and conclude on its utility as a heuristic for structuring interdisciplinary analysis of ecosystem services and human well-being.

Masked, diluted and drowned out: How global seafood trade weakens signals from marine ecosystems

Crona, B.I., T.M. Daw, W. Swartz, A.V. Norström, M. Nyström, M. Thyresson, C. Folke, J. Hentati-Sundberg, H. Österblom, L. Deutsch, M. Troell

2015 - Journal / article

Nearly 40% of seafood is traded internationally and an even bigger proportion is affected by international trade, yet scholarship on marine fisheries has focused on global trends in stocks and catches, or on dynamics of individual fisheries, with limited attention to the link between individual fisheries, global trade and distant consumers. This paper examines the usefulness of fish price as a feedback signal to consumers about the state of fisheries and marine ecosystems. We suggest that the current nature of fisheries systems and global markets prevent transmission of such price signals from source fisheries to consumers. We propose several mechanisms that combine to weaken price signals, and present one example – the North Sea cod – to show how these mechanisms can be tested. The lack of a reliable price feedback to consumers represents a challenge for sustainable fisheries governance. We therefore propose three complimentary approaches to address the missing feedback: (i) strengthening information flow through improved traceability and visibility of individual fishers to consumers, (ii) capitalizing on the changing seafood trade structures and (iii) bypassing and complementing market mechanisms by directly targeting citizens and political actors regarding marine environmental issues through publicity and information campaigns. These strategies each have limitations and thus need to be pursued together to address the challenge of sustainability in global marine fisheries.

Towards a typology of interactions between small-scale fisheries and global seafood trade

Crona, B.I., X. Basurto, D. Squires, S. Gelcich, T.M. Daw, A. Khan, E. Havice, V. Chomo, M. Troell, E.A. Buchary, E.H. Allison

2015 - Journal / article

Fish and fish-related products are among the most highly traded commodities globally and the proportion of globally harvested fish that is internationally traded has steadily risen over time. Views on the benefits of international seafood trade diverge, partly as a result from adopting either an aggregate national focus or a focus on local market actors. However, both views generally assume that the trade in question is characterized by export of fisheries resources to international markets. This is potentially misleading as empirical evidence suggests that import of seafood can also have impacts on local SSF dynamics. A systematic analysis of the different ways in which local production systems connect to international seafood markets can therefore help shed more light on why small-scale fisheries exhibit such differences in outcomes as they engage in an increasingly global seafood trade. This paper conducts a synthesis across 24 cases from around the world and develops a typology of small-scale fisheries and how they connect to and interact with international seafood trade. The analysis is based on key features drawn from trade theory regarding how trade interacts with local production. The implications of the findings for social and ecological sustainability of small-scale fisheries are discussed with the aim of identifying further research topics which deserve attention to better inform trade policy for more sustainable fisheries and more just wealth distribution from their trade.

Network governance from the top: The case of ecosystem-based coastal and marine management

Sandström, A., Ö. Bodin, B. Crona

2015 - Journal / article

Contemporary environmental policy incorporates a collaborative approach, and conservation management commonly denotes the formation of governance networks on the sub-national level. This trend toward networks implies a shift in the mode of public governance since state-centered top-down control is replaced by a primary focus on governing networks from the top. Previous research has studied the performance of collaborative networks while the role of the state in these settings has been acknowledged to a lesser extent. Thus, prevailing knowledge concerning how public agencies can govern networks towards the fulfillment of environmental objectives is restricted. This issue is addressed in this paper through an empirical case study of a state-initiated process aimed at implementing the ideas of ecosystem-based management, by means of collaboration networks, in five coastal regions in Sweden. What governance strategies were adopted by the environmental protection agency, and how can the governance outcome be described in terms of ecosystem-based management and stakeholder support? Based on the empirical findings, the influence of the chosen governance approach on the outcomes is discussed. The results clearly illustrate the particular tradeoffs that occur as various governance strategies interact and how these influence both social and ecological aspects. The application of extensive and rigorous governance strategies enhance the fulfillment of ecosystembased management while vagueness and flexibility enable local adaptation and enhance stakeholder support. Governing networks from the top involve a balancing act, and the idea of fulfilling environmental objectives through the dynamic of network is appealing albeit challenging in practice.

Crona, Beatrice

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
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Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

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