Capitalism and the Sea : The Maritime Factor in the Making of the Modern World


by Campling, Liam, Colas, Alejandro
Society & social sciences

SKU: 9781784785239 Categories: ,


by Campling, Liam, Colas, Alejandro | Society & social sciences
Published 28/01/2021 by Verso Books in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 432 pages

The global ocean has through the centuries served as a trade route, strategic space, fish bank and supply chain for the modern capitalist economy. While sea beds are drilled for their fossil fuels and minerals, and coastlines developed for real estate and leisure, the oceans continue to absorb the toxic discharges of our carbon civilization – warming, expanding, and acidifying the blue water part of the planet in ways that will bring unpredictable but irreversible consequences for the rest of the biosphere. In this bold and radical new book, Campling and Colas analyse these and other sea-related phenomena through a historical and geographical lens.

In successive chapters dealing with the political economy, ecology and geopolitics of the sea, the authors argue that the earth’s geographical separation into land and sea has significant consequences for capitalist development. The distinctive features of this mode of production continuously seek to transcend the land-sea binary in an incessant quest for profit, engendering new alignments of sovereignty, exploitation and appropriation in the capture and coding of maritime spaces and resources.