Context Column


Who owns the sea? Discussion at the German Historical Museum in Berlin

Goethe's Mephisto paints a cruel picture of trade on the high seas and concludes:" War, trade and piracy, they are inseparable."


What legal and (economic) political forces dominate the seas today was discussed by Irina Haesler, Association of German Shipowners (VDR), Prof. Dr. med. Michael Kempe, Leibniz Research Center and Archive Hannover, Prof. dr. Alexander Proelß, new Professor of International Maritime Law and International Law Patricia Schneider, Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy of the University of Hamburg (IFSH).


The event entitled "Who owns the sea? The sea as a dominion and commercial space" took place in the Zeughauskino of the German Historical Museum in Berlin in cooperation with the TV program makro von 3sat. Topics were the development of globalization, notions of order, and effects on the maritime space between cooperation and conflict, e.g. in the South China Sea or in the Arctic as well as the downsides of globalization such as the phenomenon of historical and modern piracy.


The panel discussion was part of a series of events that accompanies the exhibition "Europe and the Sea" in the German Historical Museum (see, the exhibition runs until the 6 January 2019).