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55th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "World Renaissance: Changing roles for people and places", 25-28 August 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
This paper will discuss the features and the trends of Portugal?s future maritime activities in the context of a political process related to the enlargement of the continental shelf. It is our belief that the extension of Portugal?s continental shelf will have a multidimensional impact over a set of different economic activities and it will represent a major challenge in terms of our geopolitical orientation. This way, we chose a set of specialists with different scientific backgrounds and professional experience, in order to put our main hypothesis into test. In practical terms, and with the goal to evaluate our main objective, we have launched a DELPHI survey, collecting the opinion of said pre-selected panel of specialists. This panel included specialists in politics, economics, military and academia. This paper is divided into four sections: In the first part, we will discuss some theoretical trends related to maritime related activities and maritime transport that might have a strong impact in Portugal?s political and economic options towards the Atlantic. It is important to stress that the enlargement of the continental shelf will bring different impacts over a diverse range of sectors, including transports, logistics, defense and different branches of economic activities. In the second part, we will present the methodological concerns related to the DELPHI method, in order to explain our main choices where this method multidimensional impact derived from the enlargement of Portugal?s continental shelf. The third part of our paper will be dedicated to our case-study, that is, the impact derived from the enlargement of Portugal?s continental shelf. It will be the author?s main concern to discuss the differential impacts over four main areas: a) advantages that might come as a result of the said enlargement; b) Management related issues; c) Portugal weaknesses that might play a negative role in terms of the continental shelf future management; d) Multidimensional solutions towards the future. In terms of methodological options it is important to point out that for one part, the DELPHI Inquiry was divided according to those four main issues and, that for another part, we launched two rounds of questions. In the second round, we chose only the questions that were considered as more controversial taking into account the answers obtained during the first round of inquiry; In the final section of our paper, we will discuss the main results from our survey and we will propose some guidelines for further research.
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