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Bekkevold & Till (eds.): International Order at Sea

Internationally renowned experts within maritime studies examines how international order at sea is challenged, changed and maintained.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Title: International Order at Sea: How it is challenged. How it is maintained. 
Editors: Jo Inge Bekkevold and Geoffery Till
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan UK
Published: 2016
Number of pages: 360
ISBN 978-1-137-58662-9​ (Hardcover), 978-1-137-58663-6​ (eBook)

The book surveys challenges to the international order at sea in the Asia-Pacific, the Indian Ocean Region, the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. It explores the interaction between and cooperation among leading, emerging and smaller naval powers, both naval and coastguard responses, required for the maintenance of good order at sea. 

Six broad and interlinked issues are identified that will influence the future international order at sea: 

  • the balance between the maritime and the continental domains 
  • the balance between great power rivalry and cooperation 
  • the contest between access and denial 
  • the operational balance between preparing, building and training for warfighting as opposed to operations other than war 
  • how to manage ‘disorder’ security challenges that very often transcends territorial waters and national boundaries 
  • ​and finally, the balance between safeguarding national interests and contributing to collective efforts preserving the international order at sea.​

The editors

​​Jo Inge Bekkevold​ is Head of the Centre for Asian Security Studies at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. With Robert S. Ross, he recently edited China in the Era of Xi Jinping: Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges, 2016. Bekkevold is a former Norwegian diplomat who served in Hanoi and Beijing.

Geoffrey Till​ is Professor Emeritus of Maritime Studies and Chairman of Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies at King’s College London, UK. Since 2009 he has also been a Visiting Professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. He is the author of Seapower: A Guide for the 21st Century, 2013.


Ian Bowers is associate professor at the Center for Asian Security Studies.

Jo Georg Gade is fellow/rear admiral (ret.) at the Centre for Norwegian and European Security.

Paal Sigurd Hilde is associate professor at the Centre for Norwegian and European Security.

Øystein Tunsjø is professor at the Centre for Asian Security Studies.

Katarzyna Zysk​​ is associate professor at the Centre for Norwegian and European Security.

​​Table of content​

Part I International Order at Sea 

​1. ​International Order At Sea: What It Is. How It Is Challenged. How It Is Maintained. Jo Inge Bekkevoldand Geoffrey Till 

2. Challenges to Public Order and the Law of the Sea. Mark E. Rosen

Part II Regional Reviews and Perspectives on Challenges to the International Order 

3. Global Power Shift, Geography, and Maritime East Asia. Øystein Tunsjø 

4. China’s Naval Modernization, Strategies, and Capabilities. Andrew S. Erickson 

5. Maritime Security and Order at Sea in the Indian Ocean Region. Sarabjeet Singh Parmar 

​6. NATO and the Maritime Domain. ​Jo G. Gade and Paal Sigurd Hilde 

7. Maritime Security and International Order at Sea in  the Arctic Ocean. Katarzyna

Part III Naval and Coastguard Responses

8. The Changing Dynamics of Seapower and  Concepts of Battle. Geoffrey Till 

9. The Maritime Strategies of the United States after the  Cold War. Bernard D. Cole 

10. Maritime Security Cooperation in the South China Sea. Chu Haoand Chen Qinghong 

11. A Question of Balance: Warfi ghting and Naval Operations Other Than War. Jo Inge Bekkevold and Ian Bowers 

12. Managing Maritime Affairs: The Contribution of  Maritime Security Forces. Sam Bateman 

13. The Role of Coast Guards in Confl ict Management: The Norwegian Experience. Arild-Inge Skram and Jo G. Gade

Part IV Conclusion
​14. Conclusion: International Order at Sea in the  Twenty-First Century Jo Inge Bekkevold and Geoffrey Till 


“The oceans have never been more important than they are today. Maintaining the security of shipping and other maritime interests is absolutely vital, especially in the context of an evolving international environment where great power rivalry is re-emerging.  The most distinguished international team who have produced this book have made a major contribution to our understanding of this vital subject. It should be widely read.” 
– Professor Eric Grove, Wolverhampton University, UK

"International Order at Sea's global perspective on maritime security provides important insights, not only on the challenges being faced by national decision makers, but potential solutions to some of the more intractable problems. Its mix of expert practitioners with leading theoretical analysts gives the reader a clear sense not only of what really matters in the maritime domain, but what most needs to be done for its future governance."
– Rear Admiral James Goldrick RAN (Retd) Fellow, Seapower Centre and Lowy Institute, Australia

"Order at sea, or more accurately, disorder at sea has become routine fodder for nightly news. Bekkevold and Till have compiled a volume on this topic that "covers the waterfront"; geographically and topically. This systemic look at problems and collaborative solutions, including the central roles China and Russia now play, is most welcome." 
– RADM Michael McDevitt, USN (ret) Senior Fellow, Center for Naval Analyses, U.S.​​​​​

Published 10 December 2016 00:00.. Last updated 19 April 2018 13:05.