What is the SafeSeas Network?

SafeSeas is a network of academic institutions that studies maritime security governance and efforts to support it through capacity building. The goal is to provide evidence to improve current processes and to identify and share best and promising practices. The current re-evaluation of the maritime as a space of insecurity and economic opportunity has led to a growing awareness for the weak capacities of the majority of coastal states. Protecting territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones, preventing maritime crimes, such as piracy and illegal fishing, and ensuring the sustainable exploitation of maritime resources requires significant law enforcement capacities, information sharing tools and working maritime governance structures. These are the processes that SAFE SEAS supports.

Funding and Partners

SafeSeas is a registered voluntary commitment to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 (OceanAction14234). It has received funding from a number of academic councils and foundations. Its present main funding is through a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK as part of the  Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS). From 2016 to 2018 SafeSeas received financial support from the British Academy Sustainable Development Programme [GF16007]  which is part of the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund initiative to strengthen development through research. It has also received financial support for its activities from Cardiff University, Danish Shipping, University of Copenhagen, University of Bristol, University of Seychelles, University of Sydney, the UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme, and the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA), University of Stellenbosch.

Partner Institutions & Universities

  • Institute for Security Studies (ISS), South Africa
  • Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technical University, Singapore
  • Maritime Security Research Group, UNSW Canberra, Australia
  • Center for Global Insecurities, University of Bristol, UK
  • Center for Global Criminology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Law School, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Mancham Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, University of Seychelles, Seychelles
  • National Center for Maritime Policy Research, Bahria University
  • Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • The School of Government, Development and International Affairs, University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Partners in International Organisations

  • Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
  • Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Information Sharing Centre

SafeSeas Staff

SAFE SEAS is led by the University of Copenhagen and the University of Bristol. SAFE SEAS has currently two directors and a full time staff member based at the University of Bristol.

// Professor Christian Bueger, University of Copenhagen

Prof. Bueger is the current director of SAFE SEAS as well as a professor of international relations at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has been studying issues of maritime security, counter-piracy operations, capacity building and maritime domain awareness since 2010 and has widely published in the area.  During his time at Cardiff University (2012-2018), he was the principal investigator of the project Counter-piracy Governance and also the principal investigator of the Lessons Learned Consortium of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Further information is available on his personal website.

// Professor Tim Edmunds, University of Bristol

Prof. Edmunds is professor of international security, Principal investigator of the TOCAS project and the co-director of the network. He is a leading specialist in security sector reform policies and the politics of armed forces. Recently he has been in particular studying the security assistance in Somalia. Further information is available at his university website.

// Dr. Scott Edwards, University of Bristol

Dr. Edwards is a research associate at the University of Bristol for the TOCAS project. Scott completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2019, where he analysed the role of trust in security communities under Nicholas Wheeler. He holds an MA from the University of Birmingham in Asia-Pacific International Relations, and has primarily focused on Southeast Asian security issues.

Former Project Staff

Over the years several researchers have contributed to the work of the SafeSeas network.

// Mowlid Aden, Djibouti

Mr. Aden holds a BSc in Information Systems and Management from the University of London with Executive Education at The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), Herzylia-Israel and ENA in Paris. He is currently a Director of Security Compliance and Managing Director of the RSO at Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority. He was one of the research assistant analysing the lessons from Djiouti’s maritime sector.

// Dr. Rupert Alcock, Bristol University, UK

Dr. Alcock works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for SAFESEAS based at the University of Bristol. He completed his PhD in Politics at the University of Bristol in March 2017 and holds an MSc in Development & Security Studies and Social Science Research Methods. Further information is available here.

// Alvine Marie, Seychelles

Mr. Marie completed a Master of Laws degree at Cardiff University in 2016. His wider research interests include the Legal & Political aspects of International Affairs as well as Money Laundering & Financial crime. Currently, he is working as legal officer at the Seychelles Financial Services Authority. He was one of the research assistant analysing the lessons from Seychelles maritime sector.

// Njoki Mboce, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Ms. Mboke is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Nairobi School of Law, in the area of maritime law. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M), specializing in international trade and investments and has published several articles in refereed journals such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators – Kenya  Chapter Journal. Ms. Mboke was one of the research assistant analysing the lessons from Kenya’s maritime sector.

// Dr. Robert McCabe, Coventry University, UK

Dr. McCabe is a Research Fellow in Maritime Security at Coventry University. Previously he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cardiff University and was the research assistant of the initial phase of SafeSeas. He holds a PhD in Strategic Studies/International Security and an MA in Military History and Strategic Studies. His book Modern Maritime Piracy: Genesis, Evolution and Responses was published with Routledge in September 2017.