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Governing Futures: Oceanic Possibilities, Uncertainties, and Expertise

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISBN: 978-1-83867-059-7, eISBN: 978-1-83867-058-0

Publication date: 5 August 2019


This chapter traces an emerging place-based governance region and identity centered on the California Current large marine ecosystem, which takes in the states of Oregon, Washington, California, First Nations, and the federal government branches and agencies responsible for west coast ocean governance. These efforts have been fostered by Executive Orders aiming to coordinate the work of federal agencies responsible for governing the ocean and have been realized in the human and ocean data networks, and working forums of government representatives from the state, federal, and First Nations governments. My analysis brings science and technology studies, law and society studies, and anthropological ethnographic practice into conversation through an exploration of the bureaucratic socialities that are challenged with grappling with the social and ethical ramifications of unpredictable ocean conditions due to impending climate change and increased human uses.




I thank Austin Sarat for organizing this issue on ethnography and law and politics and for his support, the people who have generously allowed me to join them as they conduct their work, and the anonymous reviewers for their time and insights.


Sullivan, K.M. (2019), "Governing Futures: Oceanic Possibilities, Uncertainties, and Expertise", Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 80), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-111.



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