Blue Paradigms. Understanding the Intellectual Revolution in Global Ocean Politics

21 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2022 Last revised: 19 Sep 2023

See all articles by Christian Bueger

Christian Bueger

University of Copenhagen

Felix Mallin

University of Copenhagen

Date Written: May 1, 2023


The oceans have received unprecedented attention in global policy processes as well as research. This article provides a major new framework for understanding the shift towards the oceans in policy and research through a synthesis of recently emerging approaches. By demonstrating how four key oceanic paradigms have evolved, we argue that this shift amounts to a revolution in ocean thinking and policy. These paradigms not only provide an overarching structure within which ocean governance and research generally operates, they also illuminate that the revolution is far from unidirectional, raising concerns over fragmentation and a lack of coherence and synergies. To this end, we introduce maritime security, blue economy, ocean health and blue justice as the key paradigms underpinning the ocean revolution, discuss the problematizations they rely on, and the communities of practice that drive them. We then postulate ways to create new synergies between paradigms, advance policy coherence and facilitate cross-disciplinary research.

Keywords: Ocean Politics, Paradigms, Maritime Security, Blue Economy, Ocean Health, Blue Justice

Suggested Citation

Bueger, Christian and Mallin, Felix, Blue Paradigms. Understanding the Intellectual Revolution in Global Ocean Politics (May 1, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Christian Bueger

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Copenhagen, DK-2100

Felix Mallin (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, DK-1165

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