About

SafeSeas is a network of research organizations that studies maritime security. The research focus is on manifestations of blue crimes, maritime security governance, naval operations and capacity building. Participants study different countries, and regions, but also the global level. The goal of the network is 1) to produce state of the art, high quality analyses of processes related to maritime security; 2) to bring maritime security issues to the attention of a broader global and local public, and 3) to provide evidence to improve current processes, and 4) to identify and share best and promising practices across countries and regions.

Our current larger research projects are focused on maritime security in West Africa, the Western Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific region and the waters of the United Kingdom. The focus is on different expressions of blue crime, as well as maritime security governance, inter-agency coordination, maritime domain awareness, maritime security strategy, policing strategies, and capacity building initiatives. 

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 ‘Transnational Organised Crime at Sea (TOCAS)’ project is funded 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).

The Analysing Maritime Insecurities in Ghana (AMARIS) is funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre of the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA). It runs from 2020-2023. 

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.

SAFESEAS 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

  • Center for Global Criminology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Center for Global Insecurities, University of Bristol, UK
  • Center for Maritime Security and Law (CEMLAWS), Ghana
  • Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Global Maritime Crime Programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Pretoria Office, South Africa
  • Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), Ghana
  • Law School, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Mancham Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, University of Seychelles, Seychelles
  • Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technical University, Singapore
  • Maritime Security Research Group, UNSW Canberra, Australia
  • 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

SafeSeas Staff

SAFE SEAS has currently two directors and two full time staff members based at the University of Bristol and the University of Copenhagen.

// Professor Christian Bueger, University of Copenhagen

Prof. Bueger is a professor of international relations at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the directors of SafeSeas and the project lead of AMARIS. He has been studying issues of maritime security, counter-piracy operations, capacity building and maritime domain awareness since 2010.  During his time at Cardiff University (2012-2018), he was the principal investigator of the project Counter-piracy Governance and the principal investigator of the Lessons Learned Consortium of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. He has worked as consultant for the UNODC Maritime Crime Programme or the Indian Ocean Commission. 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. He has been in particular studying the security assistance in Somalia, as well as maritime security sector reform processes in the Western Indian Ocean, and more recently the consequences of Brexit for the UK’s maritime security. 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. He is the lead author of the SafeSeas evidence base and specialists in issues of coordination and inter-agency management.

// Dr. Humphrey Asamoah, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Asamoah is a research associate at the University of Copenhagen and the project manager of the AMARIS project. He holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of From Bullies to Officers and Gentlemen: How Notions of Professionalism and Civility Transformed the Ghana Armed Forces, Berghan Books.

// Professor Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, University of Ghana

Professor Ransford Edward Van Gyampo is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana. He is also the Head of the Youth Bridge Research Institute in Ghana; devoted to youth development research. He holds a PhD in Political Science and has over 15 years experience in research and teaching. He has served in several fellowship and visiting scholarship capacity in many universities across the globe, including the University of South Florida, Tampa, USA, and the University of Bristol, UK. He has also served as a Research Fellow at the governance unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs, for 14 years, and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance for two years.

// Dr. Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Katja Lindskov Jacobsen is a Senior Researcher at the University of Copenhagen in the Department of Political Science’s Centre for Military Studies. Her research centres on various aspects of contemporary interventionism, with a specific focus on Africa, the role of the military, and often with attention to the maritime domain and to the role of new security technology. Her research has been published in International Affairs, Security Dialogue, Cooperation and Conflict, Global and Governance, , among others. She is the author of The politics of humanitarian technology (2015).

// Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali (Captain Navy, Rtd.), CEMLAWS Africa

Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali (Capt Navy Rtd) is the Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa. He was previously the Director of Legal Affairs of the Ghana Navy and the Director of Research of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College. He holds a PhD in Law, Master of Laws and Master of Arts in International Relations. He has extensive academic and professional expertise in Maritime Security and Ocean Governance.  He has about 20 years of legal experience and has since 2003 been engaged in Law of the Sea capacity building and Maritime Security policy shaping at the national, regional and global levels. He played a key role in the development of National Integrated Maritime Security (NIMS) for Ghana under the Ghana-US Security Governance Initiative.  He served as a lead consultant on a project funded by MAVA Foundation for promotion of sound environmental oil and gas standards in Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. He has worked as a consulting expert for the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) of the Gulf of Guinea, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Abidjan Convention Secretariat and to the High Level Panel on the Global Sustainable Development Goals. He is a member of the Foreign Relations Council, Ghana, a Fellow of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security and an Associate both the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy, United Kingdom, and the Africa Security Sector Network (ASSN). He served as a technical expert to the UN High Panel on SDGs (co-authoring Blue Paper 16). He has published extensively and his book “Maritime Security Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Prospects and Challenges” (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff 2015) is rated as a cutting edge contribution to knowledge and research in maritime studies.

Affiliates

Dr Barry Ryan
// Dr. Barry Ryan, Keele University, UK

Barry Ryan is a senior lecturer in International Relations at Keele University. For the past number of years his research has gradually evolved from its initial empirical focus on policing and liberal internationalism towards a more critical stance on the relationship between police, war and global security. His current research is concerned with spatial strategies of security and the maritime environment and the implications for IR theory of a critical turn towards the politics of sea. A full bio can be found here.

// Dr Ehud Eiran, University of Haifa, Israel

Dr. Ehud (Udi) Eiran a senior lecturer (US Associate Professor) of International Relations, University of Haifa, Israel (on leave 2020-2021), and a visiting scholar, Department of Political Science, Stanford University (2019-2021).  He was one of the co-founders of the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and  Strategy, and headed the University’ Center for National Security. He previously held research and teaching appointments at Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and MIT’s Department of Political Science.      

// Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle, UNSW Canberra, Australia

Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle joined UNSW Canberra in 2018. His particular areas of specialism include maritime law-enforcement, the law of naval warfare, international courts and tribunals, and the history of international law. He is the author of Shipping Interdiction and the Law of the Sea (CUP 2009) and International Criminal Law (OUP 2016); and is the editor of Modern Piracy: Legal Challenges and Responses (Elgar 2013). He has published numerous papers on maritime security and law enforcement, and in particular Somali piracy. His research work is informed by his consultancy to various government and international organisations.

// Dr. Elizabeth Nyman, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA

Dr. Elizabeth Nyman is an academic and writer who specializes in international maritime issues. Currently she is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University at Galveston.Dr. Nyman’s research focuses on international maritime conflict, piracy, and environmental issues, and has been published in a variety of academic venues. She is particularly interested in oceanic resources, such as fish or offshore oil and gas, and how those impact state desires to control ocean spaces.

// Jan Stockbruegger, Brown University, USA

Jan Stockbruegger is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at Brown University. His research investigates the problem of order at sea. Jan’s dissertation examines maritime regimes over the last 500 years and how military-economic structures shape oceanic order-building strategies. In parallel, he pursues a second project on Maritime Security. It analyzes how states and private actors govern piracy in the Gulf of Aden and other contemporary maritime threats.

// Dr. Christian Wirth, GIGA Hamburg, Germany

Dr. Christian Wirth is Research Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute, Brisbane. His research focuses social and political change in Northeast Asia, and maritime on politics in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He is author of Danger, Development and Legitimacy in East Asian Maritime Politics: Securing the Seas securing the State (Routledge Asia’s Transformations, 2017) and also published in International Relations, Political Geography, Geopolitics, and The Pacific Review. 

// Professor Francois Vreÿ, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Professor Vreÿ is the research coordinator for the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa, Stellenbosch University. He is a former lecturer in the Military Strategy Department.His primary research focus is on irregular warfare and the rise of the maritime security threat landscape off Africa. Prof. Vreÿ also lecturers at the University of Namibia, Military Colleges such as the South African National Defence College and the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC).

// Dr. Collin Koh Swee Lean, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore

Collin Koh is Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies which is a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, based in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has research interests on naval affairs in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on Southeast Asia. Collin has published several op-eds, policy- and academic journal articles as well as chapters for edited volumes covering his research areas. He has also taught at Singapore Armed Forces professional military education and training courses.

// Dr. Joshua Tallis, Center for Naval Analyses, USA

Dr. Joshua Tallis is a political-military analyst studying maritime security, ocean governance, polar affairs, and the role of seapower in US strategy. He serves as a research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses and an adjunct professor at The George Washington University. His field research experience includes embedding as the command analyst with the Truman aircraft carrier strike group on the US Navy’s first Arctic carrier deployment since the end of the Cold War. He is the author of the book, The War for Muddy Waters: Pirates, Terrorists, Traffickers, and Maritime Insecurity.

// CF (R) Marianne Péron-Doise, Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire, France

Marianne Peron-Doise is the director of the “International Maritime Security” program at the Institute for Strategic Research at the Military School (IRSEM), France and will soon be directing the “From Maritime Security to Sea Studies” course at de sciences-po Paris. A marine officer by trade, she has held several different positions at the Ministry for Defense, including the head of the office for the Asia Pacific at the Delegation of Strategic Affaires. She was a political consultant with the NATO Maritime Command and is an occasional consultant for the EU project CRIMARIO. Her research focuses on the topics of maritime regionalization and multilateralism in the oceanic landscape.

Dr. Carolin Liss, Vesalius College, Brussels, Belgium

Carolin (Line) Liss is Assistant Professor of international affairs at Vesalius College, Brussels, and Associate Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. She received her Ph.D. in Politics and Asian Studies from Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. Previously, she worked at Griffith University, Brisbane, and Murdoch University and has been a visiting associate at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. Her research focuses on maritime security, the privatization of security and non-traditional security threats (including piracy, kidnappings, terrorism and transnational criminal activities).

// Prof. Richard Barnes, University of Lincoln, UK

Richard Barnes is Professor of International Law at the University of Lincoln. He authored Property Rights and Natural Resources (Hart, 2009) and co-edited The law of the Sea. UNCLOS as a Living Treaty (BIICL, 2016) and Law of the Sea: Progress and Prospects (Oxford, 2006). He specializes in law of the sea, including natural resource and security issues. In recent years, he has advised a range of organisations, including the WWF, the European Parliament and Defra, and appeared on numerous occasions before Parliamentary committees to provide expert evidence on fisheries law.

//Dr. Sofia Galani, University of Bristol, UK

Sofia is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol. Her research interests lie in maritime security; the law of the sea; terrorism studies; and human rights. She is the co-editor (with Professor Sir Malcolm Evans) of Maritime Security and the Law of the Sea: Help or Hindrance? (EE, 2020). Sofia was one of the principal contributors to the UNODC Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners (2nd ed, 2019) and has led sessions at the UNODC: Maritime Law Expert Conferences.

// Dr Aviad Rubin, University of Haifa, Israel

Aviad Rubin is a faculty member in the Department of Government and Political Theory at the University of Haifa’s School of Political Science. Dr. Rubin earned a law degree from Tel Aviv University and A PhD in political science from McGill University. Dr. Rubin is a reserve naval officer and is the founding and current director of the academic program of the Israeli Naval Academy at University of Haifa. He founded, together with Ehud Eiran, the Haifa Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy. Dr. Rubin is interested in maritime politics in the East Mediterranean Basin, and in questions of sovereignty and identity in the seas

// Professor Geoffrey Till, US Naval War College

Geoffrey Till holds the Dudley W. Knox Chair for Naval History and Strategy at the Naval War College. The author of over 200 articles and book chapters, as well as 29 books, his “Understanding Victory: Naval Operations from Trafalgar to the Falklands” appeared in 2014 and the fourth revised edition of “Seapower: A Guide for the 21st Century” in 2018. He has contributed to a number of maritime research projects for the UK Royal Navy, the US Department of Defence and the US Navy Department and for the Navy of the Republic of Singapore. Geoffrey Till’s main interests are in maritime security and naval development.

// Professor Kimberley Peters, University of Oldenburg, Germany

Kimberley Peters is a Professor of Marine Governance at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB). She is a human geographer interested in thinking spatially about the political, legal, economic and environmental relations we have with seas and oceans. She is particularly interested in the governance of marine and maritime worlds and has explored this through the studies of managing illicit uses of the ocean through radio piracy; state employment of ships and the sea to (re)move incarcerated subjects; and most recently the development of ‘invisible infrastructure’ to control the mobilities of ships in existing and emerging global transit spaces (from the English Channel to the Bering Strait).

// Dr. Ian Storey, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore

Dr. Ian Storey is a Senior Fellow at the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute (formerly the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) in Singapore. He specializes in Asian security issues, with a focus on Southeast Asia. Ian is the editor of ISEAS’ flagship academic journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. His research interests include Southeast Asia’s relations with the major powers and maritime security, especially the South China Sea dispute on which he is a leading authority. His latest book is The South China Sea: Navigating Strategic and Diplomatic Tensions (co-edited, ISEAS, 2016).

// Dr. Ursula Daxecker, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Daxecker is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam where she is a member of the research group Political Economy and Transnational Governance. Her research interests focus on elections and conflict and the political economy of piracy and crime. Her work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Minerva Initiative, the European Research Council, European Commission’s Marie Curie actions, and the Dutch Science Foundation. Her book “Pirate Lands: Governance and Maritime Piracy” (co-authored with Brandon Prins) will be published with Oxford University Press in 2021.

// Dr. Jessica Larsen, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark

Dr. Jessica Larsen is an anthropologist and holds a position as researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen. She works on issues related to maritime security and port governance.  In particular, she examines the relation between regional and international actors and the forms of authority that are produced around the maritime space. Her research is based on fieldwork and empirical data collected in the regions she studies. In addition to her research, Dr. Larsen contributes with policy analysis for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence on her areas of expertise.

// Timothy Walker, Institute for Security Studies Africa, South Africa

Timothy Walker is Maritime Project Leader and Senior Researcher in the Pretoria office. He joined the ISS in 2011 as an intern in the Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Programme. His areas of interest include maritime security, piracy, the blue economy, China-Africa relations, international relations theory and human security. Tim has a Master’s degree in political and international studies from Rhodes University, South Africa.

// Dr Anthony Bergin, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Dr Anthony Bergin is a Senior Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He has wide experience in Pacific maritime affairs. He has conducted a number of studies on maritime enforcement issues in the region, including a recent review PNG’s maritime and border security for the Australian and PNG governments. In 2018-2019 Anthony was chief investigator for a major study commissioned by the French and Australian governments on environmental risks in the Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean. Anthony’s most recent study on strengthening maritime security in Indo-Pacific Island states was released by ASPI in December 2019.

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 (2017-2019).

// 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. He is the author of Modern Maritime Piracy: Genesis, Evolution and Responses published with Routledge, 2017.  

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