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A critical turn in marine spatial planning.


The publication reviews the emergence of the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) topic in the academic field and its "treatment" in the scientific literature. The authors highlight a need for the social science research on MSP and identifying the gaps in MSP studies.   

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • How MSP became a dominant marine management paradigm? 
  • How did the academic research investigate the MSP?  
  • What are the gaps in MSP research that need to be addressed?  

Implementation Context: 

The article represents an introduction to the 19th Volume of Maritime Studies "Critical turn in Marine Spatial Planning - whence and whither?"  

Aspects / Objectives: 

To review the development of MSP and a growing academic interest to this field.  


The paper reviews an emergence of MSP as an academic research topic. It provides an overview of studies related to MSP and summarizes the articles of the 19th Volume of Maritime Studies.  

Main Outputs / Results: 

The article highlights a lack of social science research in MSP and encourages a broader perspective on MSP in the academic research.  


The reflections provided in the publication can be useful for and should be taken into account in the research related to MSP.

Responsible Entity: 

School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast (UK). 

Costs / Funding Source: 

School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University, Belfast (UK). 

Contact person: 

Wesley Flannery: (w[dot]flannery[at]qub[dot]ac[dot]uk)