Perforated sovereignty : the geopolitical dilemma of Aegean hydrocarbons
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The Aegean Sea, as an integral portion of the Mediterranean Sea, has always been a region endowed with special significance. Either as a familiar route of trade or culture, or as a fault-line between hostile civilizations and states, this vortex of human dynamic and conflict is a center of tactical and strategic interplay that has evolved over thousands of years. Although sovereignty in the Aegean ultimately lies with the states of Greece and Turkey within today's global governance structure as laid out in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), the geographic space of the Aegean Sea is a cumulative social construction assembled over centuries of interactions and events, and the traditional concept of Westphalian sovereignty embedded in UNCLOS III is being increasingly perforated by the paradiplomatic activities of the plethora of non-state actors who operate on the world stage of the 21st century. These circumstances mute the ability of UNCLOS III to mitigate and/or resolve the issues of maritime delimitation. This historically and theoretically grounded research looks beyond the static lines of traditional sovereignty in the Aegean arena as defined by UNCLOS III to examine the agents operating within this socially constructed space, and how they act through paradiplomacy to perforate state sovereignty in decisions regarding exploration, extraction, and exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves projected to exist in the area.
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