By Charles Jones
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Extra info for International Relations: A Beginner's Guide
For those with means and leisure, news bulletins and foreign holidays provide windows on the wider world, but the glass can be pretty frosty. However, year after year more and more people cross national frontiers seeking employment or sanctuary. When they do so, they are responding to the kinds of forces examined in this book, most of all market incentives and organized violence. But Colombian taxi drivers in New York, Somali refugees in London, or North European tourists in Marrakesh have little incentive to move beyond the cultural bubble formed by their compatriots in Queens, Tower Hamlets, or the hotels of the Marrakech Palmeraie.
The latter term was coined by Benedict Anderson in 1983 when defining the nation. True communities – a village or a school, for example – are developed by constant proximity, direct acquaintance, and repeated social interaction between their members. The cultivation of imagined national communities, whose members might never meet and could certainly not assemble to take decisions, had been a powerful device of modern states, fostered by military conscription, national sporting contests, anthems, state broadcasting services, and the like.
The aim was to produce a convention (or multilateral treaty) covering a wide range of topics, including the definition of different categories of offshore waters, in each of which distinct laws applied, and the development of a regime to govern exploitation of seabed mineral resources. The conference created new laws, superseding or supplementing earlier conventions and codifying existing custom. These issues were of great concern to many countries, rich and poor. A number of states had unilaterally extended their territorial waters from the traditional three miles to twelve.