Constructing insecure maritime spaces
Navigational technologies and the experience of the modern mariner
in The Sea and International Relations
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This chapter contributes to existing literature on the sea by rendering dangerous maritime spatialities as productive and dynamic in how they are lived, worked and navigated. The place of the sea in modern International Relations can no longer be dismissed as a void between terrestrial land but instead should be considered a vibrant, evolving and busy series of political spaces, places and territories. As an essential reconceptualisation of insecurity at sea, this chapter considers the fluidity and volume of the sea against the mobility and agency of seafarers aboard the merchant vessels that bring us 90 per cent of everything. The first part of the chapter addresses the sea as a place represented in epistemological tools such as maps, practical guides and instruments that localise specific feelings of anxiety and unease to designated maritime territories. The second part of the chapter unpacks the first-hand experiences of seafarers as they have transited the aptly named High Risk Area and drawn on navigational tools to deter and manoeuvre in the face of modern-day Somali-based piracy. These examinations reveal that the binary of safety and insecurity that navigational tools produce at sea underpin spaces, places and territories at sea as temporary, made and unmade through the navigational practices of the seafarer and the tools they are given and shape.

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