MARE Conference 2017

People & the Sea IX: Dealing with Maritime Mobilities

Date: 5-7 July, 2017

Location: Roeterseiland complex, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands



A fine selection of photographs from the conference

Conference programme at a glance

Full conference programme book 

Conference registration 

Conference poster

Information on accommodation with discount for MARE conference participants.

Information on Best Student Paper Award 2017

The conference

Maritime activities – such as fishing, navigation, and cruise tourism – are characterised by movement and flow. Such mobility includes people and ships, but also things such as capital and information, not to forget the fluid ocean itself. It takes place within but also across and beyond national boundaries, often defying the orderly governance arrangements we have put in place. The 9th People and the Sea conference will explore the nature of maritime mobilities and the ways climate and environmental change, economic development and maritime activities are affecting their direction and volume. Topics to be addressed are: How are maritime mobilities linked and regulated? What are the distributional effects for different maritime activities, and coastal and port communities? How to design innovative governance arrangements that can foster sustainable maritime mobilities?

In addition to the conference theme “dealing with mobilities”, the conference is open to those with other thematic interests relating to people and the sea. These interests are included in the other five streams, but do not hesitate to apply, even if your topic does not fit neatly into one of them.

Conference streams

Stream 1: Dealing with maritime mobilities

This stream explores the nature and dynamics of maritime mobilities and the ways that climate and environmental change, economic development, and shifting geo-political constellations shape the direction and volume of movements and flows. Papers in this stream could address: the characteristics of maritime mobilities; precarious labour at sea; territorial conflicts and boundary-making; issues of equity between maritime activities; distributional effects for maritime communities; and the design of innovative governance arrangements to regulate different kinds of maritime mobilities.

Stream 2: Maritime governance

This stream focuses on new developments in sectoral and integrated maritime governance, giving particular attention to aspects of power, consensus building, and legitimacy in sectoral policies (such as shipping, offshore renewable and non-renewable energy, development of ports, cruise tourism) and integrated maritime policies (such as Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). We are interested in how different policies for regional seas and coastal zones are developed and whose voices are being heard; papers could also deal with aspects of power, procedural justice, examples of good and bad practice, and the consequences of policy contestation. Comparison between seas, policies, activities, and governance regimes is an explicit purpose. This  stream provides also space for those enquiring into the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’), which is also the topic of the MARE Policy Day that precedes the conference.

Stream 3: Social Relations and Culture

This stream continues the long-standing attention of the MARE conferences to maritime anthropology and the cultural meanings that people associate with the sea and the coastal zone. Papers in this theme may relate to occupational specializations, such as fishing, coastal tourism, aquaculture, or oil rig work. They may also branch into cultural or political ecology, history, film or literary analysis.

Stream 4: Fisheries management

Fisheries management (or governance) is a long-time favorite in the MARE conferences, bringing together scholars and policy-makers from natural and social sciences. As capture fisheries is still in trouble (because of environmental degradation and overfishing), but continues to provide livelihood support and food security for a very large number of people, management is a very important concern. But what works where? And how do we deal with wicked problems? How can we improve the governability of capture fisheries so that it reaches its potential?

Stream 5: Knowledge production

This stream brings together the different approaches and tools that are currently used in coastal and marine resource management that develop (or block) the creation of an integrated knowledge base for management. It seeks to contrast and compare their use across different contexts and disciplinary perspectives and to illuminate the roles of knowledge negotiation and the creation of science-policy boundary objects. Research and critical thinking on the role of social scientists and social science in the production of a management knowledge base would also be very welcome.

Stream 6: Coastal threats and vulnerability

This stream focuses on the reactions of coastal and maritime systems to shocks and how science, policy and coastal communities deal with such sudden change. As change may have natural (tsunamis, climate change, etc.) or social (policy, demographic developments, etc.) origins, contributors might address topics such as oil spills, fishing bans, resource collapse, the global recession or natural disasters affecting the coastal zone. Enquiries might highlight policy processes, law, power equations, the role of government, or of civil society.

Conference contributions

Participants may propose the presentation of papers, but also of posters and other visual materials, such as documentary films and (small) exhibitions. Besides these more traditional conference formats we encourage panel proposals with innovative formats that stimulate interaction and dynamism such as roundtables, workshops, brainstorm sessions and debates. As for paper-based panels, we encourage formats that invite thorough discussion of presented papers, for example by including discussants or by peer reviewing each other’s papers. The conference organizers may prioritize proposals that take into account these considerations. 

Deadline for panel, paper proposals and other conference formats: January 31st, 2017(GMT)

Structure of proposals:

Panel proposals

Panel proposals should clearly state:

  • The name, affiliation, and email address of the panel organizer,
  • A brief (one paragraph) panel abstract
  • The proposed paper titles, authors (and their affiliations) to be included in the panel (if available),
  • The conference stream to which the panel relates.

Panel proposals should not be longer than one A4 page, or 500 words.

Paper abstracts

Abstracts should clearly state:

  • Author(s) name,
  • Author(s) affiliation,
  • Author email address for correspondence,
  • The conference theme to which the paper relates

Abstracts should be less than 300 words in length (please do not use abbreviations or cite references in the abstract), and include 3-10 keywords representing the main content.

Exhibition proposals

Films and documentaries –DVD format, maximum length 30 minutes

Please also bring a printed caption to describe the film (1 side A4, FONT 20) in the following format:

  • Location and date of film:
  • Description:
  • Acknowledgements:

Posters – Limited to size A0

Photography displays – Minimum 5 printed  photographs (Size A4 minimum – we welcome larger prints) with individual captions to explain their relevance to the conference theme (1 side A4, font 20)

Please submit your proposal electronically to the conference organizer by 31st January 2017 via organizer email ( or by post to: Centre for Maritime Research (MARE), Wageningen University and Research, Environmental Policy Group, Postbox 8130, 6700EW Wageningen, The Netherlands.