Law and Politics in the South China Sea: Assessing the Role of UNCLOS in Ocean Dispute Settlement

  • Author / Creator
    Hong, Nong
  • This dissertation evaluates the applicability and effectiveness of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as a settlement mechanism for addressing the South China Sea (SCS) dispute, the most complex and challenging ocean-related regional conflict in East Asia. This dissertation answers these broad questions: Does UNCLOS create a constitution for the ocean? Is UNCLOS successful in preventing or managing conflicts pertaining to marine resources? Hoes does the SCS dispute settlement bridge the gap of International Relations (IR) and International Law (IL)? Since 1980s, the regime concept came to be used as one vehicle to cross the disciplinary divide between IL and IR. This dissertation seeks to foster dialogue between political scientists and international lawyers by viewing UNCLOS as an international regime and exploring its internal coherence and its external relationship with other international regimes and institutions in this region. I argue that there can be little doubt about the centrality of UNCLOS in the legal framework for ocean management, albeit it may be perceived to have certain shortcomings. The most pervasive threats to the SCS stability and obstacles to solve the dispute are caused by the lack of political will to implement the dispute settlement mechanism of UNCLOS. This paper proposes a pragmatic settlement regime of five dimensions to solve the SCS dispute and accelerate ocean governance in this region.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Political Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Jiang, Wenran (Political Science)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Xu, Yingfeng (Economics)
    • Keating, Tom ( Political Science)
    • Anderson, Greg ( Political Science)
    • Harder, Lois (Political Science)
    • Townsend-Gault, Ian (Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia)
    • Knight, Andy (Political Science)