BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    IR's sea sickness: a materialist diagnosis

    Colás, Alejandro (2022) IR's sea sickness: a materialist diagnosis. In: de Carvalho, B. and Leira, H. (eds.) The Sea and International Relations. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9781526155108. (In Press)

    Colas IR&SeaBook.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (371kB) | Preview


    This paper adopts a materialist understanding of nature, suggesting the ‘malaise’ of the discipline when it comes to the maritime factor in International Relations lies in the lack of attention to the terraqueous predicament of our planet. It elaborates on the implications of such an approach with reference to temporal and spatial aspects of modern international relations. Understanding the global ocean as a dynamic, living force in constant and changing interaction with terrestrial power can deliver deeper and richer interpretations of international relations, including conflicts like those in the contemporary South China Sea. Book synopsis: While the world's oceans cover more than seventy percent of its surface, the sea has largely vanished as an object of enquiry in International Relations (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, by highlighting theoretical puzzles, analysing broad historical perspectives and addressing contemporary challenges. In bringing the sea back into IR, the book reconceptualises the canvas of international relations to include the oceans as a social, political, economic and military space which affects the workings of world politics.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Alex Colas
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 16:34
    Last Modified: 01 Oct 2023 00:10


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item