Dept of Politics | Capitalism and the Sea: Sovereignty, Territory and Accumulation
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Capitalism and the Sea: Sovereignty, Territory and Accumulation

Video of a SOAS talk given by Dr Alex Colas and Dr Liam Campling (QMUL).

In March, Dr Alex Colas (Birkbeck College) and Dr Liam Campling (QMUL) gave a talk titled Capitalism and the Sea: Sovereignty, Territory and Accumulation at SOAS, University of London.

A recording of the talk is now available on the SOAS website.

The blurb for the event is as follows:

"We introduce the term ‘terraqueous territoriality’ to analyse a particular relationship between capitalism as a social formation, and the sea as a natural force. Focusing on three spaces – exclusive economic zones (EEZs), the system of ‘flags of convenience’, and multilateral counter-piracy initiatives – the talk points to these as instances of capitalist states and firms seeking to transcend the geo-physical difference between firm land and fluid sea. Capital, it is argued, constantly seeks to territorialise the sea through forms of sovereignty and modes of accumulation drawn from experiences on land, thereby generating distinctive spatial effects.

These create all kinds of challenges and contradictions, which often resolve themselves through the paradoxical ‘maritimisation’ of socio-economic and political relations on land. By exploring the articulation between sovereignty, territory and accumulation in the organisation of spaces where land meets sea, we aim to demonstrate the value of an analytical framework that underlines the terraqueous nature of contemporary capitalism."

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