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Thèmes de recherche - Océanides

Research Topics

Research on 5,000 years of maritime history


Here are the major research topics studied by the international scientific experts of the Oceanides project within the four historical periods: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Modern History, Contemporary History.


Each major research theme, such as “maritime trade and demography” or “sea as stake and power vector” for example, considers all aspects of the subject and gives rise to specific studies on what happened in this area on each of the 5 continents.




Maritime trade and demography




Maritime development and population dynamics


Maritime activities and economic development

Trade roads

First maritime trade

Maritime trade and the development of shipbuilding

Exploitation of sea and littoral resources


Maritime activities and sciences and techniques’ development


Military techniques

Harbours developments

Scientific discoveries


The sea, an issue and a power vector

The ship, a mean to control a territory

The ship, a mean to control space

Diversity of the forms of maritime conflicts


Navy and strategy of political entities

Which political organisation for which navy ?

Necessary resources for the building of a navy

Navy and political strategy






Structures of the link with the sea

  • Money
  • Men
  • Harbours


Forms of maritime power

  • In the Mediterranean
  • In the North Sea
  • From the Near to the Far East
  • Two unwell known world: pre-Colombian America and its links with the sea, Africa before the Portuguese expansion


Maritime power, economics and society

  • Maritime politics
  • The “Medieval nautical revolution”
  • Economic consequences
  • Social and cultural consequences
  • The sea as a factor of prosperity in the Middle Ages





Moderne - OcéanidesResearch topics in Modern History


Measuring the success due to the sea and the level of economic power

  • Intensity and diversity of the link to the sea
  • Harbours and shipbuilding
  • Products of maritime trade
  • Fisheries
  • Maritime actors


Maritime power: instrument of the political power and of a global strategy to influence or even to dominate

  • Western maritime powers
  • Indian Ocean: between desires and indifferences
  • Asian maritime powers
  • Africa


Interactions between navy, economy and society

  • Maritime policy and ideology
  • The sea and technological development
  • Maritime development and economical and financial control
  • Maritime development and organisational control





Contemporaine - Océanides Research topics for Contemporary History



Maritime activities worldwide

  • Free-trade, industrialisation and global economy
  • The race to naval armaments
  • The sea as an instrument of power
  • The sea as an instrument of imperialism
  • Fisheries
  • Whaling
  • Naval shipbuilding
  • Oil
  • From ocean to closed seas


The importance of the sea in the major political strategies, 1815-1914

  • Great-Britain: 1815-1850: naval power or maritime power?
  • Great-Britain as a major power facing technical challenges, 1850-1885
  • France and the sea, 1815-1914
  • Russia trying new naval technologies, 1815-1914
  • Powerful American Navy at the time of the Secession War, 1850-1870
  • The United States as a new naval power, 1890-1919
  • Italy, 1860-1914: the sea building a liberal state and an empire ?
  • Germany, 1870-: a military empire turning to the sea
  • Japan: the sea and the building of a modern State, 1860-1914
  • China: failure of the empire and the industrial era, 1842-1911
  • Spain: failure of the empire and industrial era
  • Ottoman Empire: the sea and the modernisation of the Empire
  • The Netherlands: empire and trade without a major navy
  • Denmark: empire and trade without a major navy
  • Portugal: Empire and trade without a significant navy
  • Sweden and the Baltic states
  • Austria-Hungarian and the Adriatic: local naval powers
  • The Caribbean; internal order and trade with South America 1830-1914


The First World War

  • The sea as a global war factor
  • Great-Britain
  • Germany
  • The Mediterranean
  • Japan and The Pacific
  • The British Empire and the sea


First Wolrd War suspended and resumed, 1919-1940

  • The Washington Treaty era from 1919 to 1930: limitation of naval armaments
  • The Washington Treaty era: neutralising the Pacific
  • The sea and the economic crisis, 1919-1935
  • The sea and the arrival of dictators from 1930 to 1940
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Germany
  • Italy


The Second World War, 1940-1945

  • The sea as a decisive factor in WW2
  • The German offensive, 1940-1942
  • The Japanese offensive, 1937-1942
  • The Italian offensive, 1940-1941
  • Great Britain on the defensive, 1939-1942
  • The United States
  • Great Britain on the offensive, 1943-1945


The confrontation between the Blocs, 1945-1990

  • The Soviet Empire and the sea
  • NATO as an alliance based on the sea
  • France and the sea
  • The United States and the Pacific
  • Navy and trade power in Asia
  • China turning to the sea
  • India and the sea
  • News navies and maritime powers
  • Terrorism and piracy at sea
  • Globalisation


Present and future

  • The utility of naval power in the XXIst century
  • Warming of the planet and trade
  • Law at sea