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Special issue on The impact of geopolitical turmoil on global shipping and trade

Globalisation has paved the way for trade and economic growth due to cross-border global economic integration and cooperation. However, over the last few years, global trade and the geopolitical landscape are rapidly changing, with geopolitics becoming a guardrail of global risks impacting global trade. Due to the significance of geopolitical impact to economics the term geoeconomic  confrontation was introduced. According to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report it is the third most important risk for the next two years . Geopolitics tensions are becoming more regular as global powers clash more often and they use geoeconomics as weapon, to challenge the sovereignty of rival states and change the power balance at a peripheral level while they attempt to challenge it on a global level. The outcome of geoeconomics are increased prices of goods (linked with the cost-of-living crisis, the most important risk factor for the next two years ), weaker demand and production shifts. 

Some geopolitical events have already taken place, for example the invasion of Ukraine  (which is responsible for nearly 10% of global cereal production and affect food insecurity specifically in developing countries). The blockage of Ukrainian ports impacted global trade volumes and shipping, due to the aforementioned large volume of cereal exports that Ukrainian ports accommodate. Moreover, evolving geopolitical events are evident in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. The latter region is responsible for suppling a large portion of technological products, while the former is a key region for energy exports. Our ability to achieve our decarbonisation targets (clearly linked with natural disasters and extreme weather events, second most important risk for the next two years ) amongst others will be affected.

As the conflicts are asymmetric a new security context should be developed in order to ensure the prosperity of the global population through economic development and political stability. That may have a political cost/dimension as more businesses are “nearshoring” or “friend-shoring” their activities so they could reduce geopolitical risks exposure and de-risk their supply chains. What are the impacts of those actions to shipping and trade in the medium and long term, is the aim of this special issue. 

As editors, we are looking for original contributions that constitute much more than a simple description of a specific case or ongoing trend break. We are interested in receiving original and innovative submissions, which are well grounded in theory and/or containing novel analysis that will provide new perspectives on the interactions between geopolitics and shipping and trade. 

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact of trade barriers and sanctions on maritime trade;
  • Impact of the emergence of geopolitical blocks on shipping and ports;
  • The strategic role of national flags and fleets;
  • The geopolitical context of (terminal) investments in ports; 
  • The geopolitics of shipbuilding;    
  • The EU regulatory context on external trade and strategic independence: 
  • Repercussions of reshoring, nearshoring and friendshoring for maritime trade and the shipping business;
  • Geopolitical disruptions in the global maritime network (e.g., Ukraine war, Red Sea crisis, South China Sea, etc.);
  • Interoceanic canals (Panama, Suez, etc.) and the changing international geopolitical context;
  • Maritime aspects of energy transition and energy independence;
  • Dealing with geopolitically induced security threats in the shipping business.

Guest Editor:
Prof. Theo Notteboom, University of Ghent / University of Antwerp, Belgium
Dr. Stavros Karamperidis, University of Plymouth, UK
Dr. George K. Vaggelas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Timeline for the SI
Submission deadline: May 31, 2024
Acceptance deadline: November 30, 2024

Submission instructions:
Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the Instructions for Authors for Journal of Shipping and Trade. The complete manuscript should be submitted through Journal of Shipping and Trade submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate thematic series in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on Current and emerging issues in air transport and trade. Reviewers should follow Springer Nature’s and the journals more detailed Peer-Review Policy. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

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