Moving beyond the Toponym: nature, political ecology and the conflict over the “Sea” that separates Korea and Japan
Hosuk Lee, Toralf Zschau
Conflict studies focus on conflicts or disputes over geographic names, territorial boundaries or resources, and make up a well-defined subfield within political geography. Studies have traditionally drawn on a mix of geopolitics, the politics of identity and/or international affairs to explain the complexities involved in these conflicts. However, studies of nature or environment as a physical entity within toponymic conflicts tend to be missing in these conceptual explanations. To strengthen and deepen future analyses, this theoretical paper argues that conflict studies could benefit from incorporating key theoretical insights from political ecology.