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Winder, Gordon M.; Heron, Richard le (2017): Assembling a Blue Economy moment? Geographic engagement with globalizing biological-economic relations in multi-use marine environments. In: Dialogues in Human Geography, Vol. 7, No. 1: pp. 3-26


In the 2010s, the Blue Economy' has been widely advocated by a spectrum of interests as a strategy to save the world's oceans and water. This article explores what the Blue Economy moment is and how geographers can engage with it. It acknowledges recent efforts by geographers to understand Blue Economy but goes further by outlining the European Union's Blue Economy programmes and by discussing these in relation to recent agenda setting in marine science. We argue that in spite of apparent convergence on this goal, the Blue Economy imaginary disciplines disparate knowledge for economic projects, when the planetary reality is that every economic project is axiomatically a biological project, with some economic aspects. In this context, the article outlines how assemblage thinking could be relevant to a human geography engagement with Blue Economy and what this could like, and how a relational conception of Blue Economy helps advance understanding. Finally, we discuss the difficulties and potential for human geographers to be genuinely enactive given the disciplinary framings that have already been assumed or imposed through Blue Economy. This last is highlighted by discussing engagement in a particular New Zealand Blue Economy initiative. Rather than either promoting or critiquing Blue Economy, we encourage informed and critical engagement with Blue Economy by geographers.