In an era of turbulent ocean geopolitics, where environmental concerns and resource extraction are increasing interest in who owns what at sea, this timely book examines the international politics involved in how states delineate ownership and rights in the ocean.
Analysing why some states settle their maritime boundary disputes and why others erupt into conflict, Andreas Østhagen uses the innovative approach of combining international law and international relations theory to examine four countries and their maritime disputes: Australia, Canada, Colombia and Norway. With a focus on marine resources, chapters unpack the dispute dynamics concerning offshore oil and gas, fisheries, and strategic security concerns. Through an examination of what led these states to settle their disputes, this innovative book delineates the wider political and legal factors behind boundary-making at sea and aims to improve the way that society resolves ocean conflicts.
Navigating the complexities of international law and conflict resolution at sea, this book will prove a thought-provoking read for students and scholars of geopolitics and law. With ocean-governance an increasingly pressing matter on the political agenda of international negotiations such as UN Climate Change conferences, it will also prove an informative resource for officials engaged in ocean affairs, geopolitics, and the law of the sea.
'In exploring the question of why states succeed, and fail, to resolve their maritime disputes, Andreas Østhagen provides a nuanced and comprehensive analysis of the various factors – political, legal, economic, even symbolic – that hamper or promote successful outcomes. This interdisciplinary lens of analysis yields new and important insights, making the volume an indispensable reference work for future research.'
– Suzanne Lalonde, Université de Montréal, Canada
'Østhagen makes good use of a study of efforts to settle boundary disputes to illuminate the complex mix of factors leading to success or failure in individual cases. In the process, he helps us to understand why cooperation is difficult to achieve in international society where states are sensitive to appearances as well as to more objective indicators of their relative standing.'
– Oran R. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara, US
'Combining international political and legal perspectives, Ocean Geopolitics offers fresh and timely insights on both the challenges and opportunities involved in the resolution of ocean boundary disputes – increasingly urgent issues spanning the global ocean. Highly recommended.'
– Clive Schofield, World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden
'Andreas Østhagen's book provides us with a panoramic map of the world's maritime boundary disputes. After reading Andreas' book carefully, readers will learn that although the governance tools and mechanisms for resolving maritime disputes are not perfect and not everyone is satisfied with the way disputes are handled, in general governments and people around the world still express their hope for peace by their patience to solve these problems. Andreas Østhagen's book reminds us that to achieve a more lasting peace and the stability of the oceans, the world needs a more integrated governance approach.'
– Yang Jian, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), China
Andreas Østhagen, Senior Research Fellow, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Senior Adviser, High North Center, Norway and Global Fellow, Wilson Center, US.