If one were to chart the momentous transformations that South Asia witnessed in the twentieth century, the sea and its coasts would be an essential cipher. The geopolitical, socio-legal, and economic transformations over the past century in South Asia are a seaborne phenomenon, among others. This backdrop often remains suppressed when sketching its contemporary history. As this afterword details, the special section “Port Environments in South Asia” shows that as ports and littoral societies receded from scholarly focus, the relationship among state, market, and the ocean intensified at these edge spaces. Without careful attention to the recomposition of this relationship over the twentieth century, it is difficult to make sense of the current geopolitical consolidation between India and China in the Indian Ocean. From coasts, brackish backwaters, and dynamic littorals, the essays in this themed section open new ways of understanding the reconstitution of power in Asian port environments in a climate-changed world.

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