International Relations’ sea sickness
A materialist diagnosis
in The Sea and International Relations
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This chapter argues that International Relations has overlooked the seas as a changing global space, and encourages adopting a terraqueous understanding of world politics. Invoking materialist conceptions of geography and history, it explores the ordering of oceans, the international relations of lives spent at or close to the sea, and the international implications of warmer, acidified and expanding seas. It looks at maritime trade and labour, piracy and shipping as global phenomena. The chapter considers these broad issues with a historical-sociological lens, and in conversation with reference to both classical and more contemporary theorists of the relationship between land and sea.

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