عنوان مقاله [English]
Strategists and researchers have devoted more attention to the sea and oceanic environments than to the other types due to former’s environmental properties and the vast area they cover. The differing nature of land and sea has been brought to bear upon the opinion of political leaders and scholars over years. Seas, land, air, space and electromagnetic spectrum constitute crucial dimensions of geopolitics. Theories of seapower have always been debated in the academia and the military. The end of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century witnessed remarkable transformations in the military, maritime, and national strategies of states, the geopolitics of seas, and the international and economic orders. The seapower of states should therefore be in tandem with these developments. Nowadays, a purely military approach to seapower is not considered consonant with the multiple purposes of states and the national and maritime strategies thereof. A review of the propounded theories of seapower indicates the fact that they were mostly framed as a description of the nature of seapower, as the elements and factors involved, or as a model.
Adopting a descriptive-analytical approach and using meta-analysis, this study attempts to devise a theoretical model that contains the factors and elements involved in a seapower. It will put forth a critique and assessment of the theories in the light of their structure and content. The aim of the present research is foundational and applied. The literature, both old and new, of the maritime has been extensively assessed. Also, the structure and content of theories and models devised in this scope have been reappraised to fit them into today’s development and circumstances. The research will therefore strive to compile and expand the theoretical foundations of seapower, i.e., the elements and factors, and then propose a theoretical and conceptual model through appraising the theories. The data are analyzed by using a deductive and qualitative method. The resulting model can be applied to evaluating and assessing the seapower of states and various geographical areas.
Findings and Discussion
Following an appraisal of the models and theories of seapower, a model of seapower consisting of seven main elements is proposed. They include economic and industrial, military, political and institutional (be it domestic or international), human and societal, geographical and territorial, geopolitical, technological, maritime infrastructure and IT—each one of which further divides into sub-elements. Informed by both subjective and objective factors, these seven elements do interact with each other, which renders isolating them almost impossible; that is to say, seapower is the output of indiscrete items.
How states with seapower behave in the maritime environment during war and peace, either military or non-military, they go on indicate their seapower. Such a capability in the sea should lead to a change in the way the actors in both sea and land behave. The state with seapower can therefore exercise its political will through the sea on other parties involved, which requires both military and non-military instruments. The latter include geographical and geopolitical elements, and political and economic ones, among others.