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Should we accept green capitalist solutions?
Adrienne Buller

The book concludes with an exercise in imagination – an attempt to look beyond the constraints within which we have been needlessly confined. The shape of what comes next is not fixed. Evidence confirming that we have the ability to sustainably support a thriving quality of life for everyone on this Earth, and then some, continues to mount – provided we can accept that present distributions of consumption, wealth and waste are not only unjust, but also untenable. The relations of economic power that shape and scar our world constitute a formidable opponent, cemented firmly by the law and its bedfellow, the threat of enforcement, which are wielded overwhelmingly in favour of the interests of capital. However, if there is hope to be found in this unyielding concrete, it is that every part of it is something we have made, and can therefore remake. Political institutions and systems are inherently contestable and subject to change. It is eminently possible to build an economy that supports thriving life rather than supplanting it. It is also far from guaranteed.

in The Value of a Whale
The production of political space in the early modern colonial Atlantic
Mark Shirk

The sea is a political space. It is bounded and contested. While it cannot be reduced to land, it is no different in this regard. Traditionally the sea has been constructed as an open, natural space but this is a political construction. I demonstrate the sea as political space by looking at shifting constructions of ‘the line’ as a boundary in the Northern Atlantic from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. It was originally drawn in the fifteenth century to demarcate where the Spanish and Portuguese could explore. By the mid-sixteenth century it was the Tropic of Cancer and Spain claimed all south of it. This was contested by the French and English. The Spanish would hire privateers to attack ‘illegal’ ships below ‘the line’, while the French and English would hire privateers for retaliation and to attack Spanish Gold Ships. There was ‘no peace beyond the line’. By the late seventeenth century, the political economy of the region shifted from extraction to trade, and sea raiders who were once privateers were made into pirates. To deal with the ‘golden age of piracy’, England abolished the idea of ‘no peace beyond the line’ and pushed it south to the equator where it was no longer politically meaningful. The result was something akin to the ‘open sea’ that we see today. What this case shows is that the sea was a bounded, contested, and dynamic space, and that understanding political space means we need to understand the sea.

in The Sea and International Relations
The early practice of privateering
Benjamin de Carvalho and Halvard Leira

When the European polities started looking overseas in earnest in the late fifteenth century, the Iberian powers were able to secure papal sanction for a global duopoly. The Treaty of Tordesillas gave Spain and Portugal exclusive rights to half of the world each. A century later, both the duopoly and the religious order of Europe had been upended. A key practice in this upending was that of privateering. Privateering played a crucial part both in the survival of Protestantism in Europe and in the spread of the European-dominated state system, accounting for how polities beyond the Iberian ones went overseas and how they came to settle around the world.

Understanding privateering opens up the door to making sense of the challenge posed by the sea to different European polities, how they managed to overcome the obstacles posed by the sea, and how the sea became a political fibre, structuring the reach of their political authority. By challenging traditional dichotomies of public and private, sea and land, state and empire, trade and war, engaging with privateering is a clear-cut example of a rethinking of international relations with the sea.

We approach the topic in four steps. Starting with a brief overview of what privateering consisted of and how it was practised and regulated, we then discuss the continental context of confessional divides and how they impacted the policies of Protestant states. The main part of the chapter is concerned with the three cases of protestant privateering: Huguenot, English and Dutch.

in The Sea and International Relations
Fearghus Roulston

The final analysis chapter of the book engages with one interview, with Graeme Mullan, to consider the unravelling role of punk throughout his narrative. The composure in this interview, it suggests, is bifurcated, in that it initially comes from Graeme’s adolescent encounter with the scene, and then later from his status as a storyteller, collector and historian of punk in Belfast. The chapter pursues this bifurcation through, first, an account of Graeme’s early experiences of childhood and punk, and secondly through a more reflexive section in which he considers the importance of punk to his life now. Drawing on Henry Glassie’s work on storytelling and Catherine Nash’s work on local history in Northern Ireland, it suggests that this second stage has a public relevance to the conflict in the North as well as a subjective relevance for Graeme himself. It concludes by describing how Graeme’s stories about punk work to resolve or dampen down aspects of discomposure or dislocation in his overall narrative.

in Belfast punk and the Troubles
On the origins of solidarity with the Palestinian cause in France
Abdellali Hajjat

This chapter sheds light on a forgotten chapter of the long sixties: the origins of solidarity with the Palestinian cause in France. In the historiography of May ’68 in France, solidarity with Palestine and the activist role of Arab migrant workers and students have been largely sidelined. While conventional accounts (in French and English) might suggest that the radical sixties focused on the Vietnam War and was led by white students and workers, this chapter argues that the Israel-Palestine conflict and Arab colonial migrants held an important role in French radical politics, both in factories and in universities. Indeed, solidarity with Palestine played a catalyst role in the politicisation of many activists, French and immigrant, still active today. Offering the first historical account in English of movements of solidarity with the Palestinian cause in France, this study contributes to undoing the silence on the topic in French historiography in particular and in the literature on the global sixties more broadly.

Drawing on public and private archives (the Ministry of Interior, radical organisations, newspaper articles, etc.), this chapter examines the activism of Arab immigrants in France, focusing particularly on the Committees in Support of the Palestinian Revolution, known as ‘comités Palestine’ (Palestine committees). Created in reaction to Black September (1970) and dissolved in the spring of 1972, Palestine committees, composed of mostly Arab workers and students, were among the first French-based organisations of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The committees preceded the Mouvement des travailleurs arabes (Movement of Arab Workers or MTA) which was established in 1972. This chapter explores four key aspects of Palestine committees: the politicisation of Arab activists in a broader Arab revolutionary context and in the ideological framework of Marxist Arab nationalism; the late 1960s socio-political French context when solidarity with Palestinians was extremely controversial; the organisation and actions of these committees; and finally, the factors explaining their dissolution and the transition to the MTA.

in Transnational solidarity
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Fearghus Roulston

The conclusion returns to the question of sectarianism to argue that seeing punk in a more expansive way is important if we are to avoid a reading of Northern Irish history that dehistoricises and dematerialises sectarianism. Turning briefly to the work of the black feminist historian Tina Campt, it proposes that we read the punk scene both for its account of structural problems in Northern Ireland, for its inability to circumvent those problems, and for its refusal of sectarian identity categories.

in Belfast punk and the Troubles
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International terraqueous relations
Xavier Guillaume and Julia Costa López

This volume covers important ground in bringing the sea back into International Relations scholarship in a way that militates against a land/sea binary. In this concluding chapter we explore how this can productively be taken further through a lens of International Terraqueous Relations, which not only understands land and sea as connected, but also sees their interconnections as the condition of possibility -materially and symbolically – of the international itself. Specifically, we call for three dimensions to be further explored. First, we argue that the study of the sea has been connected, explicitly or implicitly, to a Western thalassodicy, a portrayal of the sea by which the West, and especially an Anglo-American West, rationalises and legitimises its moral, political, and military power over others, and raise the question of how to move beyond it. Second, while most analysis of the sea focus on realities pertaining to states, we draw attention to the need to explore the everydayness of international terraqueous relations. From racialised groups to the study of the ship as a space, it is essential to draw connections between the everyday processes and the emergence, reproduction and transformation of international processes. Finally, we argue that engaging with international terraqueous relations requires designing analytically precise tools recognising the differences, as well as the similarities, between different terraqueous spaces such as oceans, seas and lakes. Doing so, we think, offers a vantage point from which to examine how social imaginaries, practices and ecosystems interact. 

in The Sea and International Relations
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Networks of anticolonial solidarity and the liberation movements of the Portuguese colonies in Africa
Víctor Barros

The struggle for independence led by the liberation movements of the Portuguese colonies in Africa combined several international and global dimensions, as well as many transnational networks of anticolonial solidarity. This chapter explores how anticolonial solidarity expressed in political forums (such as the Khartoum Conference, the Netherlands Meeting and the Rome Conference) fuelled the growth of European anticolonial support and internationalised African demands for independence in the Portuguese colonies. Additionally, it highlights how the leading figures of African liberation movements embraced the concept of solidarity and operationalised it with their liberation projects. This chapter argues that a more rounded understanding of liberation movements’ activities must take into consideration their entanglements in transcultural political discourses and anticolonial practices, as well as the networks of anti-imperialist solidarity they generated.

in Transnational solidarity
Navigational technologies and the experience of the modern mariner
Jessica K. Simonds

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.

in The Sea and International Relations
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Tricontinental genealogies of ’68
Paula Barreiro López

With the First Tricontinental Conference in Havana (1966), the configuration of a transnational movement of resistance to imperialism and support for the liberation struggles in the Global South (Latin America, Africa and Asia) took place. This network was founded with the aim of explicitly defending guerrilla action to achieve national liberation, independence and national sovereignty. Moreover, it aimed to mobilise revolutionary forces by bringing together the political movements, revolutionary organisations, trade unions, student movements, intellectuals and artists positioned against imperialism, apartheid and racial segregation in all contexts.

Developing a panoramic approach across the Atlantic, I take as starting point the Tricontinental and its extensive networks in which multiple artists participated and from which they took inspiration. My chapter reveals the Tricontinental genealogies of 1968, by analysing the experiences and identification of several artists and intellectuals with the revolutionary movements of the Global South. While Maoist Third-Worldist relations of 1968 (firmly rooted in French intelligentsia) have been widely explored, the alternative Latin American impulses and connections are often overlooked. Just some months before their militancy in the Parisian May 1968, key artists had direct on-site experiences of art and revolution in Havana, Cuba. This chapter discusses two critical events that constitute a Latin American genealogy to 1968: the Salon de Mayo 1967 and the Cultural Congress of 1968. Furthermore, by locating these experiences within the itinerant trajectories of participating artists, I demonstrate how the cultural guerrilla of 1968 was part of a global revolutionary process against imperialism as well as part of the media system of the 1960s.

in Transnational solidarity