Ocean Frontiers Research-Working Group On Maritime-Space Security Nexus

Ocean Frontiers Research: what is it about?

Ocean Frontiers are both transboundary and trans-domain regions of Maritime-Space-Nuclear security nexus. They are embattled zones of territorial conflict, and heterogeneous technological zones with industrial and military networks, affecting human and environmental security. Ocean spaces of submarines equipped with nuclear missiles, and their inter-continental and trans-domain flight paths charted over geostrategic waters, through the upper atmospheric regions are critical frontiers for multilateral defense and diplomatic negotiations. Ocean frontiers, their corresponding airspace and protozone regions are also significant routes of international commerce. Clearly, these navigational spaces are not just regions within national jurisdiction. The technological and commercial spaces of the global commons are, furthermore, steadily emerging in global politics as competitive spaces of natural resources – celestial space resources and deep seabed minerals – spurring innovative mining experiments that compound to the complexities of military geostrategy.

Despite prevailing regional and international governance mechanisms, norms of peace and security are being challenged by national competition over natural resources, most noticeably in and over the Arctic Ocean and the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, shows of military power, multilateral competition for national appropriation and territorial control have been escalating not just over common waterways of ocean ecosystems but also in the stratospheric regions above maritime zones. Inter-State differences have intensified concerning the type of security order envisioned. Although diplomatic negotiations have long grappled with trans-frontier issues, political disparities and security deviations from international peace norms prevail in the absence of inter-state consensus.

What does ‘Peace’ entail? What is the prevailing security order? Whose version of ‘Peace’ or security order is being imposed, supported or challenged, and how? These are key questions pertinent to discussions about ‘Peace’ in perilous ocean frontiers.

Moreover, international trade routes and commercial explorations signal both shared and conflictual histories as well as exclusion despite common cultures of humanity. In this context, one primary objective of the annual workshop series of this working group is to expand on the concept of ‘Peace’ beyond narrowly defined inter-state ideas of ‘Security’, and explore regional and international commonality, concurrence and co-evolution.

Working Group: Interests & Focus

Our group of scholars and professionals from the fields of Science, Technology and Public Policy share interests in international norms of peace governance, pertaining to the interrelated domains of maritime-space-nuclear security nexus.

With our research and educational mandate, our focus is on analysis of issues and discussion of policy perspectives on the following 5 aspects of Ocean-Space regions:

  1. Cooperative Security in geostrategic Ocean-Space regions

  2. Science & Technology Issues in Maritime Boundary Conflicts, advancing into Airspace, Cyberspace and Outer Space

  3. Military Security versus Human Security

  4. Trafficking of weapons and humans across frontiers

  5. Peace Norms and Peace Regimes of Maritime-Space Security Nexus

Chairperson: Venilla Rajaguru, York University

To be part of this working group, and/or to take part in upcoming workshops, please contact: venilla@yorku.ca; falicia@yorku.ca

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