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Understanding the South China Sea: An explorative cultural analysis

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  • Evers, Hans-Dieter

Abstract

The South China Sea has attracted considerable attention among politicians, journalists and scholars since it has become a contested maritime space. Most works concentrate on conflicts and negotiations to resolve the ensuing issues. In this paper, a cultural theory will be applied to stress the importance of conceptions of space found in different cultures. The South China Sea is defined as "Mediterranean." By comparing it to other maritime spaces, like the Baltic and the Mediterranean Sea, lessons will be drawn from the "longue durée" of history, as analysed by French historian Fernand Braudel and from concepts of the cultural theory of Oswald Spengler. The paper will look at the South China Sea from two perspectives. The political perspective will discuss various events that have happened due to political tensions because of territorial demarcations, fishing rights and access to natural resources. Comparing three "Mediterranean seas," I shall argue that Mediterranean seas share certain properties that give rise to tensions and even armed conflict, but also solutions to its problems. The second perspective uses macro-sociology and cultural anthropology to classify and understand actions of the general population as well as political leaders when they ascertain property rights to Mediterranean seas.

Suggested Citation

  • Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2013. "Understanding the South China Sea: An explorative cultural analysis," MPRA Paper 61204, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:61204
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/61204/2/MPRA_paper_61204.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hans-Dieter Evers & Azhari Karim, 2011. "The Maritime Potential of ASEAN Economies," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 30(1), pages 117-124.
    2. Lixin Sun, 2010. "Chinese maritime concepts," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 327-338, November.
    3. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Nordin, Ramli, 2012. "The symbolic universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia," MPRA Paper 39210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Andy Yee, 2011. "Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of the South China Sea and the East China Sea," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 40(2), pages 165-193.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    maritime studies; shipping; resources; conflict; China; Indonesia; Malaysia; Brunei; Vietnam; Philippines; history;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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