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February 8, 2023
Asian History / Studies, Contemporary History, Environmental History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Maritime History / Studies
ANN: Why the Industrialization of the Ocean Matters: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Social and Legal Impacts of Climate Change and New Forms of Globalization
The roundtable moderated by Stefan Huebner will take place on Zoom at the Asia Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). For registration, please see the following details:
8 February 2023
04:00pm - 06:00pm (SGT) = 09:00am - 11:00am (CET) = 08.00am - 10.00am (GMT) = 05.00pm - 7.00pm (JST) = 00:00am - 02.00am (PST)
Online via Zoom
Registration and more information on speakers: https://ari.nus.edu.sg/events/20230208-ocean-matters/
The event addresses, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the historical reasons and present social and legal impacts of “ocean-to-land globalization”. Globalization in an economic sense describes the spatial separation of sites of production and consumption, enabled by cost drops and the corresponding shrinking of barriers to trade. However, the usually discussed form of globalization is “land-to-land globalization,” in which marine regions served only as connectors between terrestrial sites of production and consumption, such as those on the Asian and North American continents. Our event changes this perspective, since the communication and transport cost drops by several orders of magnitude since World War II resulted in the spatial separation of new offshore sites of production and terrestrial, often urban, sites of consumption. While the first stage in such “ocean-to-land” globalization was characterized by the rise of a small number of offshore industries, like oil, gas, and fish farming, the second stage since the 2010s and its cost drops resulted in the emergence of multiple new industries. Our roundtable analyzes the legal and social implications of the rise of such new industries, among them offshore wind turbines, floating settlements and cities, smart fish farms, floating agricultural complexes, offshore rocket launch and landing sites, floating solar panels, and submerged or floating data centers, among others. International climate change mitigation and adaptation plans created an important part of the legal and social framework of offshore renewable energy generation. They equally matter for the construction of floating settlements and farms rising together with the sea level, such as UN-Habitat’s “sustainable floating city” project in Busan, South Korea. More broadly, the rise of “smart” communication technologies, enabled through GPS, high-speed satellite internet connectivity, and machine learning, has stirred up a global discussion about the safety and security of such floating settlements and offshore industrial sites, including impacts on residents or workforces, the oceanic environment, and other industries.