Some Historical Perspectives on Today's Maritime World



The last half century has been seen as a period of exceptional transformation in maritime activity, characterised by larger and newer types of ships, altered patterns in international trade, decline in the importance of national fleets, growth in international maritime regulation, new sources of maritime labour, greater exploitation of ocean resources.  But taking a longer view of the historical record calls into question the uniqueness of this so-called 'maritime revolution' and closer scrutiny of the current situation also suggests that today's maritime world in fact retains many traditional features.


Sarah Palmer BA (Dunelm) MA (Indiana) PhD (LSE) is Emeritus Professor of Maritime History, University of Greenwich. Her research focuses particularly on commercial shipping, port development and maritime policy from the nineteenth century to the present and she has published widely on these subjects. Sarah's contemporary and historical academic interests are reflected in other activities, including chairmanship of the Greenwich Forum, membership of the British Commission for Maritime History and serving on the judging committee for the Maritime Foundation's Mountbatten Maritime Award.  A former Trustee of National Museums Liverpool, she is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society for Nautical Research and the Royal Society of Arts.