Having explored the different mechanisms that have led states to settle their disputes at sea, we can conceptualise a broader understanding of how changes at sea influence and determine the IR of ocean space, as well as state behaviour in the same domain. How has the growing focus on maritime space, as shown through this study of the various maritime boundary disputes, led to changes in the way states view and utilise the maritime domain for political purposes? Better understanding this can help comprehend not only why states settle their maritime boundary disputes, but also what the future brings for disputes over maritime space. Three trends deserve further consideration: (1) the continued institutionalisation of ocean space; (2) the growing symbolic relevance of the maritime domain; and (3) the increasing utilisation of oceans for various purposes that spark environmental concern.
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