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Report of the Working Group on Oceans and Frontiers

The Ocean of our planetary home is One: the global ocean commons, the common heritage of mankind is a mysterious planetary space and life-giving resource-but divided, territorialized, and given many cultural and political names, aside from being used for technical infrastructure development and economic development. Militarization of disputed maritime boundaries, technologizing of oceanic coastal regions by nuclear power plants, and constructions of national airspace from the contested waterways of national maritime boundaries are a few examples of a much larger field of ocean development and governance, entangled with S & T policies, international development practices, and global affairs of maritime states. Ocean geotechnical politics across China, ASEAN, Japan, Australia, Canada, Russia, and the U.S. has contributed to an increasing arms race and show of military power, not just to assert competitive sovereignty claims across disputed maritime space, but to also affirm the freedom of navigation and overflight across the global commons. This is of course in addition to the controversies of nuclear reactor meltdown in several oceanic coastal regions, and the unresolved controversy of how best to dispose spent nuclear fuel.

In this peace research series of lectures, we explore both regional and international conflicts and synergies arising out of technological developments across ocean frontiers. Our eminent guest speakers are scientists, engineers, scholars, and working professionals from the fields of technological systems control, civil and geoengineering, S & T policy, ocean policy and governance, disaster and environmental crisis management. The one hour lecture of every guest speaker will be followed by a 20-30 mins Q&A session with the audience. Each of these lectures will focus on:

  1. exploring techno-scientific norms of safety and security, technical controversies of control systems as well as conflicts and synergies in inter-state relations;

  2. elucidating the entanglements of S & T policy, control systems building and ocean resources sustainability; and

  3. analyzing peace norms, and pacification instruments deployed to curb inter-state conflicts, and/or resolve issues thwarting human and collective security.

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