Direct Action at Sea: A Typology of Activism and Enforcement (g)

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Calgary School of Informal Education (online)
Calgary, Alberta, CA

Posted by Calgary School of Informal Education.

This will be be a google chat online, please have a gmail account ready, and Teale will share a link 10 minutes before the beginning of the class!

Non-governmental organizations, community organizations, and other civil society non-state actors have traditionally been seen as relying on lobbying, advocating or protesting to further marine conservation aims. However an increasing number of actors have begun to diversify their strategies – employing direct action on the high seas. Using this confrontational strategy, activists have blockaded illegal whaling ships, interfered with poaching operations, as well as engaged in monitoring, surveillance, and ecosystem restoration. Activists have even adopted the role of law enforcement, engaging in the direct enforcement of conservation laws, in the face of state inaction or inability to act.

The talk includes a general introduction to the concept of direct action, as well as a deeper exploration of the application of this sometimes confrontational strategy at sea. The presentation presents a typology (classification) of all the various forms of direct action at sea while surveying all of the significant marine conservation groups which engage in direct action, and provides examples from the application of direct action in the field.
This talk is excellent for anyone who is interested in activism, political strategy, international relations, or conservation issues, or for those who just want to hear tales of activism and adventure from the waters of the Southern Ocean, to the halls of the UNODC in Vienna.

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff will deliver a 1 hour lecture via Skype, and then be available to answer questions.

About the Presenter: Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Dr. Teale N. Phelps Bondaroff is an international relations scholar with a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and a fellow at the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) at the University of Victoria. His academic research focuses on the strategic use of international law by NGOs, specifically monitoring and the direct enforcement of (international) law. Teale conducted 4 months of fieldwork on board a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel while it engaged in anti-whaling actions in the Southern Ocean to gather data for his PhD thesis which explored the strategy of this organization.

He has worked with and studied, a number of organizations involved in monitoring and enforcement. For the past 3 years, he served as a researcher with The Black Fish, and more recently as a researcher for the Sea Ranger Service. He has also consulted with Sea Shepherd, and helped this organization secure funding for its new long-range, high speed patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior. His research into the strategy of non-state actors and activism has familiarized him with a wide range of organizations, strategies and tactics around the world, and he has published several papers on non-state actor strategy.

Teale is originally from Calgary where he completed two BAs (political science and international relations at the University of Calgary, and where he was also involved in federal and provincial politics. He currently resides in Victoria, BC, where his partner Stephanie Ferguson and he run The Idea Tree Consulting, a consultancy which specialises in research, strategy and communications for environmental NGOs. He also works as a debate coach, and helps with several schools on Vancouver Island, and offers individual training for speech and debate of all levels.