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The relationship between straits and interoceanic canals has always been ambiguous. Unlike straits, interoceanic canals are neither natural nor subject to a universal legal regime like the Law of the Sea. However, straits and interoceanic canals share comparable historical experiences due to their geographic similarities.
Suspending interest in a purely legal analysis, The Panama Canal lets logic yield to experience and considers the Panama Canal as an “artificial strait.” The volume recasts the events that have changed the Panama Canal’s environment in the context of three interactive elements: territoriality, transits, and physiographic circumstances. Cleverly deciphering from history how changes in one element led to changes in another, The Panama Canal suggests a considerably new perspective for viewing the canal’s past and future.