Following our earlier call for papers, the final programme for this workshop is now available. Those interested in attending should contact Alex Colas or George Lawson.

International Relations, Capitalism and the Sea:
The Historical Sociology of Oceans and Inner Seas

Monday 16th September 2013
Room 541, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL

Please contact Alex Colas (a.colas [at] or George Lawson (g.lawson [at] if you would like to attend this workshop.


10.00-10.30: Welcome and Introduction

Session I, 10:30-12:30: IR and the Sea: Global Commons or Outlaw Space?

Alejandro Colás (Birkbeck), ‘Barbary Coast in the Expansion of International Society: Piracy and Corsairing as Primary Institutions’

Jeppe Mulich (NYU), ‘Connecting Imperial Waters: Inter-Polity Ports in the Global Nineteenth Century’

Amedeo Policante (Goldsmiths College), ‘Foucault and Pirates: International Law, World Trade and Primitive Accumulation’

12.30-13.30: Lunch

Session II, 13:30-15:30: Ocean Power: Governance, Empire and Internationalism

Tamson Pietsch (Brunel), ‘The Floating University of 1926’

Benjamin de Carvalho and Halvard Leira (NUPI), ‘Opening Up the Oceans; or How the Other States Went to Sea’

Bryan Mabee (Queen Mary, University of London), ‘An “Enemy of All Mankind”? Somali Piracy and the Global Political Economy’

15:30-16:00: Break

Session III: 16:00-17:30 Roundtable: IR, Capitalism and the Sea (with special reference to the Indian Ocean)

Clare Anderson (Leicester), Phil Steinberg (Durham), Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS), Liam Campling (Queen Mary)