Shaping the Blue Economy—What Role for Economic Geography?

Authors: C. Heidkamp*, Southern Connecticut State University
Topics: Economic Geography, Marine and Coastal Resources, Geographic Thought
Keywords: Blue Economy, Economic Geography, Pragmatism, Action Research
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 43
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The ideas and narratives surrounding the Blue Economy have increased significantly over the past few years. Along with the growing Blue Economy discourse came a push for policies focused on fostering a Blue Economy from local, regional and national governments, an increase in investment opportunities in the business sector and a significant increase in funding opportunities for Blue Economy related research in the academic/research sector. While the Blue Economy discourse can be described as overwhelmingly positive—that is in favor of Blue Economy focused development initiatives—it has nevertheless had its critics who have called attention to important issues such as a deliberate emphasis on economic growth as opposed to environmental sustainability, an often-missing acknowledgement of equity and justice considerations, as well as a general lack of geographical sensitivity. On the premise of these important critiques, this paper explores the current status of economic geography in the Blue Economy discourse and argues that to make a meaningful contribution, economic geographers must address these criticisms by actively engaging and shaping a just and sustainable Blue Economy. To do so, economic geographers must embrace critical pragmatism and emerging transdisciplinary action research frameworks.

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