The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) is a regional-scale effort involving numerous stakeholders aiming to address pressing coastal and marine problems that threaten the ecological, economic, and cultural identities of the Southeast Asia Pacific Coral Triangle region. This paper draws on the Advocacy Coalition Framework to examine the main CTI stakeholders to better understand their efforts to design and implement marine management policies. It explores CTI stakeholders' policy beliefs and preferences, their patterns of collaboration and trust, their access to resources and level of influence, and their views on the overall performance of the CTI circa 2011. Data come primarily from a survey of 63 stakeholders. The findings suggest that the CTI is best viewed as a nascent, collaborative policy subsystem wherein there is strong support for the CTI objectives among stakeholders, convergence in policy beliefs and preferences, and instances of collaboration. However, some tensions are highlighted within the policy subsystem, which risk undermining the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of the Initiative. We argue that, as the CTI matures, it is important to maintain broad convergence in policy beliefs to prevent the formation of adversarial coalitions within the CTI, and/or to avoid unilateral prioritisation of powerful global interests to the detriment of national and local priorities. While political fortunes lie beyond prediction, these scenarios might be averted through the aid of a policy broker and through fostering established and new collaborative forums with institutional arrangements that promote trust and consensus.
2014. Vol. 95, 117-128 p.