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CSPO 1125A - Thinking the seas

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Our oceans are the earth's largest habitats. For some civilisations, controlling the seas was a way to control the world and control of the maritime domain (Borders, ports and offshores installations) still remains a sovereign power for nations. Furthermore, playing a key role in the climate system, Oceans contain valuable resources such as oil, natural gas and minerals and they are also homing futures promises strategic elements such as platinum group metals, steel stabilisers, high-tech metals and rare earth elements. Many countries are, therefore, very interested in exploiting the mineral resources of the ocean floor with a view to securing supplies of raw materials. The industrialization of the deep sea is expanding worldwide since green energies produced trough wind, waves, deep currents or variations of the salinization are mobilizing more and more interests. 99% of international data is transmitted by wires at the bottom of the ocean called submarine communications cables. The high seas are then also deep seas. Nuclear-range submarines cruising 6 months long, quasi invisible, demonstrate that deep seas are challenging strategy. These seminars will help to identify the most important trends, challenges and opportunities for practitioners, decisions-makers, from the world's seas and oceans. It will begin by focusing on the following areas: resources and economic potential of the sea. imaginaries bounded to the seas. environmental issues governance of the sea.


CARPENTIER-TANGUY, Xavier (PhD. Lecturer)

Course validation

Each student will receive 3 notes. The final evaluation is mixed with - 20% General participation. - 30% expos. - 50% examination(to be determined : essay). All seminars are expected to be prepared by obligatory readings in order to facilitate debats. Some group works will also be prepared for simulation cases.

Required reading

Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Ocean, Jim Stavridis, Penguin, 2017

Additional required reading

  • Venise et la mer : XIIe-XVIIIe siècle, Jean-Claude Hocquet, Fayard 2006
  • La mediterranée, Fernand Braudel, Flammarion – 2009 (1949)
  • The Geopolitics of Deep Oceans, John Hannigan, Cambridge 2015
  • La mer et la France, quand les Bourbons voulaient dominer le monde, Olivier Chaline, Flammarion, 2015