A Research Agenda for Environmental Geopolitics
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A Research Agenda for Environmental Geopolitics

Edited by Shannon O’Lear

Challenging the mainstream view of the environment as either threatening or valuable, this book considers how geographic knowledge can be applied to offer a more nuanced understanding. Framed within geopolitics and using a range of methodologies, the chapters encapsulate different approaches to demonstrate how selective forms of knowledge, measurement, and spatial focus both embody and stabilize power, shaping how people perceive and respond to changing features of human-environment interactions.
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Chapter 3: Science, territory, and the geopolitics of high seas conservation

Noella J. Gray, Leslie Acton and Lisa M. Campbell

Abstract

Environmental geopolitics are always premised on particular ways of knowing the environment, scientific and otherwise. This chapter considers how scientific modes of observation, measurement, interpretation, and visualization influence the territorialization of ocean space for conservation. Drawing on two cases – the effort to protect biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction through international policy venues and the creation of the Sargasso Sea Geographical Area of Collaboration – the chapter illustrates the ways in which geopolitical power operates in and through the performance and uptake of scientific research, across multiple sites and venues. Emerging understanding of oceans as fluid, mobile, and dynamic offer new ways of thinking about territory, even as conventional understandings of territory constrain ocean governance.

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