Conclusion: international terraqueous relations

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sea and International Relations
EditorsBenjamin de Carvalho, Halvard Leira
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781526155122
ISBN (Print)9781526155108
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2022

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