Ocean activism: towards an oceanic turn in the study of transnational social movements

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract Drawing on a new research project investigating “civil society at sea”, this paper demonstrates that political scientists have much to gain from approaching ocean politics from the perspective of sea-bound civil society – an international political actor that is curiously under-investigated thus far. Scholars of transnational civil society have already been exploring what it means to act beyond the borders of nation-states in the context of globalisation since the turn of the century (della Porta and Tarrow, 2005; Castells, 2012). However, while respective scholarship produced important knowledges of how civil society acts across national borders, significantly less is known about what it means to act outside of nation-state territory, namely in the international territory of the sea. Indeed, one the most important findings in recent oceanic scholarship across the social and political sciences is the realisation of just how much scholarly thinking is conceptually tied to the land (Steinberg, 2001; Steinberg and Peters, 2015; Hung and Lien, 2022). Brown and Peters, for instance, argue that modern thought is permeated by a “terracentric normative ideal” (2019, p.2). As respective scholarship demonstrates, more attention to sea-bound thought and practice invites us to re-think essential political concepts, including the meaning of borders, governance and power. Asking what it means for civil society actors to act in the transnational territory of the sea – belonging to no one (mare nullius) and everyone (mare nostrum) at once – this paper reviews existing scholarly literature on sea-bound civil society. Drawing out the theoretical potency as well as current gaps in the existing scholarship of civil society at sea, the paper calls for a more systematic study of ocean activism.
Authors Scharenberg, Antje
Projects Scharenberg, Dr. Antje (2022) “Because the sea is rising we will rise” - Transnational agency and mediated resistance in sea-bound civil society organisations [fundamental research project]
Language English
Subjects social sciences
political science
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Date September 2022
Event Title EISA 15th Pan-European Conference on International Relations
Event Location Panteion University Athens
Event Dates 01.-05.09.2022
Depositing User Dr. Antje Scharenberg
Date Deposited 18 Oct 2022 15:40
Last Modified 18 Oct 2022 15:40
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/267624


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Scharenberg, Antje: Ocean activism: towards an oceanic turn in the study of transnational social movements. 2022. - EISA 15th Pan-European Conference on International Relations. - Panteion University Athens.


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