Landlubbers and Seadogs provides an authoritative account of how increasing globalisation in ocean shipping and the broader maritime sector challenges the entwined shipping communities of traditional maritime nations (TMNs), such as the European Union member states or the United States. Especially challenging in this process is the continuous globalisation of the maritime labour force, and more particularly of the seafarers´ profession, the localisation of which has fundamentally shifted to the new maritime nations (NMNs) in primarily former East-bloc countries and South East Asia.
Through a longitudinal empirical analysis of developments in labour mobility within the maritime sector in Denmark, the authors show that the shipping companies have historically been significant providers of competence to the national maritime skills base, but also that their current global sourcing choices threaten to dissolve this skills base. These findings, which support and extend earlier findings from several other TMNs, have important implications regarding productivity, growth and competitiveness for policy makers and companies in the maritime domain. The analysis is also of relevance in regard to the popular concern of understanding and promoting maritime clusters, in the Danish context generally articulated with the notion of The Blue Denmark. While the authors confirm that it makes much sense to conceptualise the dynamics of the maritime sector in cluster terms, their analysis also demonstrates that, from a labour mobility perspective, The Blue Denmark is narrower and less inclusive than the definition applied by the authorities and generally adopted by maritime companies and institutions in Denmark. The results and their implications discussed by the authors have a broader appeal beyond the maritime sector. The shipping industry is the most global of all industries and its trials thus provide a good indicator of what is to come in other industries and are therefore relevant in a general perspective. The project reported in this book has been generously supported by the Danish Maritime Fund.