Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Exploring the blue economy

Electronic data

  • 2019CarverPhD

    Final published version, 2.38 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 19/11/24

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Exploring the blue economy: Resource sovereignty and seabed mining in Namibia

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2019
Number of pages201
Awarding Institution
Award date19/11/2019
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Following its global emergence, the blue economy agenda is now touted as a
mechanism through which the Republic of Namibia can achieve long-term sustainable and equitable growth. In (re)defining the ocean, seabed mining has been central to these discussions. Drawing on fieldwork and semi-structured interviews undertaken with key actors in Namibia and South Africa, between 2016 and 2018, as well as recent policy debates and discourse surrounding the potential extraction of marine phosphate this thesis critically examines the framing of the marine environment as an extractive space. The global ambiguity of the blue economy concept is reflected in Namibia and divergent definitions exist across and between the state and non-state actors involved with the
formulisation of the concept. This has effectively reduced the marine scape to a space that actors can exert influence over and apportion in accordance with their own agendas. The blue economy presents opportunities for new forms of capitalist accumulation and this has resulted in struggles over who can accumulate in the marine sphere. This thesis therefore analyses the emerging and competing claims to sovereignty over this “new” resource frontier, including by state and non-state actors, and identifies which actors have been included or excluded from the blue economy agenda. In discussing sovereignty over this frontier and resources therein, it undertakes a rigorous analysis of the complications created by the ocean as a three-dimensional, voluminous, “borderless” space.