A sea of connectivity and entanglement
Modern mobilities and ancient thalassocracies in the Mediterranean Sea
in The Sea and International Relations
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Over the past few decades, the Mediterranean Sea has become a complex geography of human migration and its governance. Yet, we remain without a clear language to take seriously this sea as a space shaped by the practices that transpire within it. Rather than treating the Mediterranean as a maritime zone traversed, this chapter examines this sea as a dense political geography in its own right. The chapter focuses on the policies and practices of the European migration governance programme, Eunavfor Med, to demonstrate how the actions that emerge as an effect of this programme are influencing this sea at large. In order to build up a language that considers the importance of these changing practices at sea, the chapter explicates an example of maritime power held by the ancient Greeks. This period is drawn upon both for its Mediterranean orientation, as well as the way it reflects an example of power that is rendered through the sea and the connectivities within it. Through borrowing on this colonial and thalassic example of at-sea connectivity, the chapter highlights this sea as a central political geography, where seafaring is tied in with political ordering, to reveal how contemporary European agendas of migration governance are shaping the Mediterranean.

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