Tirza Meyer


Department of Historical Studies
Bygg 6, 6453, Dragvoll, Edvard Bulls veg 1

Background and activities

Tirza is affiliated with the project "The high seas and the deep oceans: Representations, resources and regulatory governance" (3ROceans). 3roceans project at NTNU. https://www.ntnu.edu/3roceans

She has done research for her PhD-thesis as part of the NTNU Oceans Deep sea mining pilot. The Deep sea mining pilot is a multidisciplinary project that bridges technologies and sciences at NTNU. http://www.ntnu.edu/oceans/deep-sea-mining

PhD project

The project dealt with the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (1958-1982) and key figures in the negotiation process.

PhD thesis

The Third United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS III, 1973–1982) was a ground-breaking event that saw the evolution of new ways of negotiating international rules and regulations for ocean governance. The thesis illuminates the role of Elisabeth Mann Borgese before, during and after UNCLOS III. The study examines the origins of her ideal of internationalism, and her ideas for applying her ideal to the convention through the concept of the common heritage of mankind (CHM). She did this by putting forward concrete proposals during the negotiations, by building institutions, and by affiliating herself with key people like Maltese ambassador Arvid Pardo and key delegations and groups like the Austrian Delegation, The Group of Landlocked and Geographically Disadvantaged States and the Evensen Group. The study argues that her ideal of internationalism stemmed from her earlier work with the Committee to Frame a World Constitution in Chicago and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institution in Santa Barbara under Robert M Hutchins. It demonstrates how she utilised her experiences in Chicago and Santa Barbara to stage her own Pacem in Maribus conferences, and to design and found the International Ocean Institute. It also explores her proposal for an ocean regime, and its potential to expand into a world regime. The study of Elisabeth Mann Borgese shows her ability to adapt to changing situations, and her willingness to downsize her ideas to achieve even just a small part of her idealist ambitions in relation to ocean governance.

Research interests

History of technology, transnational history, legal history, ocean mining, history of ideas, common heritage of mankind


Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Part of book/report

  • Meyer, Tirza. (2018) The Deep Sea Floor as a Battleground for Justice?. The Future of Ocean Governance and Capacity Development: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Mann Borgese (1918-2002).


  • Meyer, Tirza; Andersen, Håkon With; Brandt, Thomas. (2018) Elisabeth Mann Borgese Deep Ideology. 2018. ISBN 9788232635566. Doctoral Thesis (2018:384).
  • Meyer, Tirza. (2014) The fear of the crowd - A matter of the obscure other? - The debate about universal suffrage in Norway in 1897/1898. 2014.