Blue Legalities is now available!

Book Cover Image

Braverman, I. and Johnson, E., editors (2020). Blue Legalities: The Law and Life of the Sea. Duke University Press, Durham, NC. 330 pp. (Sammler, K. “Kauri and the Whale: Oceanic Matter and Meaning in New Zealand,” pp. 63-84.)

Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0654-1

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0592-6

The ocean and its inhabitants sketch and stretch our understandings of law in unexpected ways. Inspired by the blue turn in the social sciences and humanities, Blue Legalities explores how regulatory frameworks and governmental infrastructures are made, reworked, and contested in the oceans. Its interdisciplinary contributors analyze topics that range from militarization and Maori cosmologies to island building in the South China Sea and underwater robotics. Throughout, Blue Legalities illuminates the vast and unusual challenges associated with regulating the turbulent materialities and lives of the sea. Offering much more than an analysis of legal frameworks, the chapters in this volume show how the more-than-human ocean is central to the construction of terrestrial institutions and modes of governance. By thinking with the more-than-human ocean, Blue Legalities questions what we think we know—and what we don’t know—about oceans, our earthly planet, and ourselves.

Contributors. Stacy Alaimo, Amy Braun, Irus Braverman, Holly Jean Buck, Jennifer L. Gaynor, Stefan Helmreich, Elizabeth R. Johnson, Stephanie Jones, Zsofia Korosy, Berit Kristoffersen, Jessica Lehman, Astrida Neimanis, Susan Reid, Alison Rieser, Katherine G. Sammler, Astrid Schrader, Kristen L. Shake, Phil Steinberg

“Elisabeth Mann Borgese, one of the architects of the first Law of the Sea conference, argued that any approach to the ocean must be inherently interdisciplinary. Irus Braverman and Elizabeth R. Johnson have fulfilled this claim with a wonderful interdisciplinary collection. Plumbing the depths of human and more-than-human life and law at sea, this volume is a welcome and timely contribution to the field of critical ocean studies.” — Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey, author of Allegories of the Anthropocene


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