A nomos perspective of shipping service industries


  • Lissillour Raphaël
  • Fulconis François
  • Psaraftis Harilaos N


  • Bourdieu
  • Classification services
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • International Association of Classification Societies IACS
  • International Maritime Organization IMO
  • Logistics services
  • Maritime safety
  • Shipping industry

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This article seeks to provide a sociological understanding both of the logistics service field and of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had - and continues to have - on this field. To address this issue, we analyze the case of logistics services used by the shipping industry to manage maritime safety, namely statutory and classification services. These services verify the compliance of shipping vessels with private and public safety norms. We develop the Bourdieusian concept of nomos, according to three dimensions: a normative framework, a legitimate vision, and structural divisions. The findings highlight a complex set of industrial and regulatory norms which give rise to complementary and sometimes overlapping obligations. Nomos materializes as some actors, typically IACS member societies, benefit from an uncontested legitimacy to deliver such services, whereas other actors are excluded for a variety of reasons.

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