The COVID-19 crisis – which includes the pandemic but also the following lockdown – has brought the world to an abrupt standstill. It has equally affected human activity along coastlines and in maritime regions. Mobilities of cargo and cruise ships are impeded, tourism resorts have shut down, and the lives of fishers, oil platform workers, tourist sector workers, and many others have changed in ways that were unimaginable a few months ago. Behind the veil of crisis, governments are redefining maritime boundaries and imposing new rules of conduct. Politicians, scientists and civil society groupings are scrambling to redefine the future. In this context Maritime Studies (MAST) invites marine social scientists of all disciplines to submit papers that enquire into the impacts of COVID-19 on the realm of ‘people and the sea’ in all parts of the world.

This call matches with the imperatives of the Manifesto for the Marine Social Sciences, which was drawn up during the 2019 MARE Conference in Amsterdam. The Manifesto, to be published in the June 2020 issue of MAST, argues that maritime realms are distinct spheres of human activity that require a specific analytical lens in which the social sciences play a crucial role. In this call we seek contributions consistent with the Manifesto and the particular maritime social science sensibility of MAST, which favours methodologically rigorous and conceptually engaged research.

We are seeking deliberate efforts to situate responses to Covid-19 in relation to key social science themes and in reference to a wide array of different actors and groups that use coastal and maritime space. After all, this is an unprecedented moment of challenge to coastal people, places, cultures, and economies where the critical lens of maritime social science is more relevant than ever.

We look forward to innovative, academic contributions of various kinds:

  • Papers that explore the conceptual and methodological implications of the sudden transformative shock of Covid-19;
  • Case studies (single or comparative) that extrapolate from prior research to link disruptions in particular places or sectors to broader trends in the maritime realm;
  • Analyses of the ways in which the Covid-19 crisis narrative legitimizes certain governance interventions; and
  • Imaginative renderings of new possibilities for human relations and societal dynamics in post-Covid-19 coastal and marine settings.

Please submit a summary (abstract, 150-250 words) of your proposed submission (5,000-10,000 words) to the MAST editorial office (att. Silke Hoppe, subject “MARINE SOCIAL SCIENCE IMAGINATIONS OF COVID-19”, by Monday, May 18th, 2020. Authors will receive a go/no-go signal by May 30th. Final manuscripts are to be submitted by September 1st, 2020 and shall be published in the first quarter of 2021. For submission guidelines see the Maritime Studies website.

Centre for Maritime Research

MARE is an interdisciplinary social science organisation interested in the use and management of marine resources. Its objective is to provide a stimulating intellectual climate for academics and policymakers working on topics related to coasts and seas. Although MARE limits its action radius to the social sciences, it seeks active collaboration with other disciplines. It strives to maintain a balanced mix of academic and policy-oriented research. MARE takes a global perspective, emphasising the coastal zones of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It covers a broad spectrum of topics, drawing on expertise from fields such as law, history, economics, political science, public administration, anthropology, and geography.

MARE organises international courses, conferences and seminars on specific maritime topics.

MARE publishes a publication series as well as a specialised maritime journal with a broad focus on social science called Maritime Studies (MAST), which is the successor to Maritime Anthropological Studies.