Laws of the Sea assembles scholars from law, geography, anthropology, and environmental humanities to consider the possibilities of a critical ocean approach in legal studies.

Unlike the United Nations’ monumental Convention on the Law of the Sea, which imagines one comprehensive constitutional framework for governing the ocean, Laws of the Sea approaches oceanic law in plural and dynamic ways. Critically engaging contemporary concerns about the fate of the ocean, the collection’s twelve chapters range from hydrothermal vents through the continental shelf and marine genetic resources to coastal communities in France, Sweden, Florida, and Indonesia. Documenting the longstanding binary of land and sea, the chapters pose a fundamental challenge to European law’s “terracentrism” and its pervasive influence on juridical modes of knowing and making the world. Together, the chapters ask: is contemporary Eurocentric law—and international law in particular—capable of moving away from its capitalist and colonial legacies, established through myriad oceanic abstractions and classifications, toward more amphibious legalities?

Laws of the Sea will appeal to legal scholars, geographers, anthropologists, cultural and political theorists, as well as scholars in the environmental humanities, political ecology, ocean studies, and animal studies.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.



Amphibious Legal Geographies: Toward Land–Sea Regimes
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chapter 1|22 pages

The Vexed Liminality of Hydrothermal Vents

An Opportunity to Unmake the Law of the Sea
Size: 2.25 MB

chapter 2|20 pages

Commodifying the Oceans

The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases Revisited
Size: 1.88 MB
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chapter 4|28 pages

Genetic Freedom of the Seas in the Age of Extractivism

Marine Genetic Resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
Size: 3.21 MB

chapter 5|24 pages

Oceanic Heterolegalities?

Ocean Commons and the Heterotopias of Sovereign Legality
Size: 3.34 MB

chapter 6|20 pages

Mining the Seas

Speculative Fictions and Futures
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chapter 8|18 pages

UNCLOS as a Geopolitical Chokepoint

Locked Down, Locked In, Locked Out
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chapter 9|22 pages

From Extended Urbanization to Ocean Gentrification

Miami's River Port and the Precarious Geographies of Haitian Shipping
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chapter 10|16 pages

Miles and Norms in the Fishery of Marseille

On the Interface between Social Norms and Legal Rules
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chapter 11|18 pages

Divided Environments

Scalar Challenges in Sweden's Marine and Coastal Water Planning
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chapter 12|24 pages

Good Human–Turtle Relationships in Indonesia

Exploring Intersecting Legalities in Sea Turtle Conservation
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chapter |13 pages


We Are All Complicit: Performing Law through Wavewriting
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