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The confluence of hegemonic interests and the conflicts of maritime disputes in East Asia : A Study on the Oikonomia of UNCLOS

Mustain Billah (Sungkonghoe University MAINS)

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This thesis is a critical evaluation of the notion of spatial order that reifies economized space. Consequently, the thesis critiques the given relation between colonial history, political-geography, global order, and governance in territories within the paradigm of the modern state. While these gen...
This thesis is a critical evaluation of the notion of spatial order that reifies economized space. Consequently, the thesis critiques the given relation between colonial history, political-geography, global order, and governance in territories within the paradigm of the modern state. While these general concerns are conceptually analyzed, this thesis also focuses on the interests and tensions of maritime disputes in East Asia. Oikonomia is an important term for this thesis as an organizing principle with which to think through the entangled histories of spatial order within the structure of an administrative logic, which not only has a historical genealogy, but also tremendous contemporary resonance. Historical method and genealogy are both used in this thesis for the purpose of thinking through the specificity of oikonomia to examine UNCLOS within the East Asian context. The aim of this thesis is to question the UNCLOS framework, the way it inures colonial valence and perpetuates a particular relation between land and sea. Thus, it questions the liberal transfiguration of economic exclusivity (EEZ) combined with the free passage of military competition for an overlapping ‘zone’ of dual nature. In this context, how ‘freedom of the sea’ recast colonial shadow and is being used for hegemonic purpose. The dominant concept of spatial order emphasizes land, and subordinates sea, as a result, creates unevenness in the distributive logic of space, and the accumulation of other histories within the structure of European expansion. This thesis thinks through what it means to include seas as a category within the epistemic and material history of colonialism. Such a re-examination of the spatial order reconfigures decolonization as a political response.
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Acknowledgements
List of maps
Abbreviations
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Acknowledgements
List of maps
Abbreviations
Abstract

Part I: Order of the ocean and Economy of UNCLOS 10
1. Introduction 11
2. Formation of the spatial order: its elements and attributes 23
3. New norms of maritime governance and its assemblage within UNCLOS framework 43
Part II: Global politics and the regional dynamics 54
4. Orientation of UNCLOS and the reason of emerging geopolitical rivalry in the Pacific Ocean 55
5. Context and core issues in East Asian maritime disputes: three most contested cases 64
Part III: Beyond security and territorial trap 80
6. Superpower ante and the aberration of national security 81
7. De-securitization and the space for civil society’s engagement 91
8. Conclusion 101