The Sea and International Relations

The sea and International Relations is a path-breaking collection which opens up the conversation about the sea in International Relations (IR), and probes the value of analysing the sea in IR terms. While the world’s oceans cover more than 70 percent of its surface, the sea has largely vanished as an object of enquiry in IR, being treated either as a corollary of land or as time. Yet, the sea is the quintessential international space, and its importance to global politics has become all the more obvious in recent years. Drawing on interdisciplinary insights from IR, historical sociology, blue humanities and critical ocean studies, The sea and International Relations breaks with this trend of oceanic amnesia, and kickstarts a theoretical, conceptual and empirical discussion about the sea and IR, offering novel takes on the spatiality of world politics by highlighting theoretical puzzles, analysing broad historical perspectives and addressing contemporary challenges. In bringing the sea back into IR, The sea and International Relations reconceptualises the canvas of IR to include the oceans not only as travel time, but as a social, political, economic and military space which affects the workings of world politics. As such, The sea and International Relations is as ambitious as it is timely. Together, the contributions to the volume emphasise the pressing need to think of the world with the sea rather than ignoring it in order to address not only the ecological fate of the globe, but changing forms of international order.

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