A New Approach to the Theory of Seapower in the 21st Century (In Times of War and Peace)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor in Political Geography, University of Maragheh, Maragheh, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Asian Cultural Documentation Center, The Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran


The environment of seas has undergone geopolitical changes in recent decades, which has had a profound impact upon the nature of seapower. The aim of the current research is to expound on the new nature of seapower in the 21st century. It also takes an approach that is not limited to wartime and, given the postmodern era, encompasses peace and international rivalry, especially global trade. First, the concept of classic seapower is discussed in this paper and then using the meta-analysis method, the concept of seapower in the present century is discussed by adopting a new approach. Research findings indicate that the new nature of seapower is based on the military and non-military dimensions of seapower, the relative nature of seapower, the various roles of naval forces, the new naval threats, the diverse functions of the sea environment, the context of the international order, the strategic link between seapower and land power, air and space powers, and the humanitarian operations in the sea environment. In the early years of the 21st century, these considerations have persuaded states out of taking a purely national approach to seapower and sea policy-making, but to accept multilateral interactions and cooperation by taking a transnational approach.


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