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(In)justice in the blue economy

Celine Germond-Duret, C. Patrick Heidkamp and John Morrissey

The Geographical Journal Volume

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  • advocacy,
  • blue economy,
  • Blue Justice,
  • Art and Humanities,
  • sustainable development,
  • gender equality,
  • inequalities,
  • policy
Target Group
  • Researchers
  • English

The main point of this article is to emphasize the importance of extending beyond geographical limitations and integrating insights from a range of disciplines to create an inclusive blue economy.

Published in July 2022, this article argues that while social sciences have traditionally ignored the ocean space, Human Geography scholars have recently shown increased interest in the marine environment. The author states that academic literature on the blue economy, which was virtually non-existent a few years ago, has grown significantly. Although the academic debate has provided some critical assessment of blue economy initiatives, more needs to be done to address the role of environmental protection within a blue economy and to prioritize the well-being of people. There is a concern that the blue economy concept is ambiguous, and the confusion over its social and environmental sustainability could lead to harmful practices. It is essential for social scientists, particularly geographers, to engage in these debates and investigate the potential human and social costs of the blue economy while ensuring justice and fairness. The articles presented in this collection emphasize the importance of environmental sustainability, justice, and equality in the blue economy and strive to identify blue economy risks and the mechanisms through which they occur, assess the role of inclusion and participation in a sustainable blue economy, define what blue economy policies should include to promote just and sustainable practices, and identify the dominant understandings of the blue economy and its priorities. This article highlights the need to go beyond geographical boundaries and incorporate insights from other disciplines and methodologies to develop a blue economy that prioritizes social justice, not just economic growth.