Social value, and the publicness of the sea, has attracted little explicit consideration within the academic literature, and with an increasing volume of offshore development, and a growth in the scale of projects there is a risk that, without due regard, the public nature and openness of the sea will become increasingly at risk. Where marine space is discussed within the literature, it does not consider this within the framework in which offshore development is consented in the UK, and likewise, it is unclear how marine space is considered within marine licensing decision making, or in other words the values which have been attached to the marine environment within government policy.
My research, therefore, considers what is being regulated with regards to marine space in relation to its social construction and the values attributed to it. My research draws on contemporary public space literature, particularly Lefebvre’s production of space thesis, along with regulatory and decision-making literature and environmental ethics. Primary research methods include rhetorical analysis, examining marine licensing case study literature and process, and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and decision-makers.
In addition to my PhD, I assist with teaching both within APL and for the Newcastle HaSS Faculty Research Training Programme, and am undertaking a project with Newcastle University Humanities and Research Institute (NURHI) researching the past, present and future uses of the North and South piers in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear.