The Geotechnical Politics of Ocean Frontiers workshop

The Honourable Peggy Mason, former Canadian Ambassador and current President of the Rideau Institute, will give the keynote address at an upcoming interdisciplinary workshop on peace and security.

The Geotechnical Politics of Ocean Frontiers: The Canadian North & the Indo-Pacific will explore the politics of constructing ‘Peace’ and attaining ‘Security’ through the interdisciplinary analytical framework of ‘Frontier Studies.’ Workshop participants are from academic, government, nongovernment, corporate and media sectors.

This workshop is organized by the Ocean Frontiers Working group under Science for Peace, Canada in collaboration with Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and YCAR.

Investigating frontiers, particularly probing ocean frontier politics is part of a larger inquiry into the earthly politics of using science, technology and international law to construct maritime boundaries and new frontiers of resource ownership. Such politics also involves marine and maritime infrastructural development, and is furthermore interrelated systematically to the science and technology of how space above and below the waterways are constructed, i.e. how national airspace is understood, bordered, and governed above maritime boundaries; how national land areas below the water is understood; and how the seabed resources below waterways are envisioned and exploited as national economic resources. Ocean frontier politics are matters of regional risks and international security, due to an escalating arms race between maritime nations, triggered by unsettled territorial claims and ensuing power struggle in maritime expansion and resource extraction.

Organizer Venilla Rajaguru (Science & Technology Studies) notes that the emphasis on two regions, the Canadian Arctic and the China Sea regions, commemorates the historical quest for a route from the Canadian North to the East in Canadian history. These regions are also the most problematic parts of our global ocean realms in terms of multilateral resource conflicts, competitive territorial claims, and inter-state boundary delineation issues, she said.

The workshop will take place on the Keele campus on Friday, 28 April 2017. RSVP to ycar@yorku.ca.

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