1st RethinkBlue Conference

Organized by COST Action CA22122 – Rethinking the Blue Economy: Socio-Ecological Impacts and Opportunities (RethinkBlue)

University of Zadar

Zadar, Croatia, 23-24 April 2024


In just over a decade since its introduction at the Rio+20 conference in 2012, the Blue Economy has become a popular policy paradigm in Europe and beyond. However, the frequent use of the concept and its adoption in different contexts (national and international politics, private sector, academic community) has led to diverse and often competing discourses and frameworks. In its most general and value-neutral form, Blue Economy refers to all economic activities related to the oceans. However, conceptually and empirically, Blue Economy can be engaged in more complex ways. In this way, it becomes a platform to explore multiple societal, environmental and economic aspects of the uses of the sea, from benefits to conflicts/challenges. Blue Economy can also become a way to critically review the impacts of ocean exploitation and resource extraction on local communities in line with the concept of Blue Justice.

In line with the focus of the “RethinkBlue” COST Action CA22122, the goal of the conference is to create a forum for scholars who are seeking to rethink what Blue Economy stands for today, from a social perspective. To initiate this process, the conference aims to explore potential and existing contradictions, conflicts, and synergies linked to it.

We welcome contributions that explore, theoretically or empirically, the following topics, which correspond with the five Action Working Groups:

  • Maritime occupations
  • Food security & sustainable blue consumption
  • Port cities & coastal communities
  • Fisheries governance & emergent activities
  • Climate change & natural hazards

We invite proposals for individual contributions that engage empirically, conceptually, and/or normatively with these and related issues. Thus, while we seek contributions which conceptually question Blue Economy as the umbrella term, we also aim to feature research which examines reconfigurations of different maritime segments in particular empirical studies.

The working language of the conference is English.

Proposals for papers should include the title; an abstract of max. 300 words, 5–7 keywords; and the contact details and affiliation of the author(s).

The final deadline for the electronic submission of abstracts is 29 February 2024. Notices of acceptance will be sent out by 10 March 2024.

Proposals should be submitted by email at rethinkblueconference@unizd.hr.

They will be selected through the double-blind peer review process, and published in the book of abstracts.

Registration: The conference is supported by COST. There is no conference fee, but registration is required. Participants may be requested to contribute to the cost of conference meals and excursions.

Authors whose abstracts have been accepted are invited to join one of the Working Groups of RethinkBlue COST Action CA22122.

Inquiries can be directed to the organizers at dcepic@unizd.hr or branko@idi.hr.