Kenya’s waters provide significant domestic and international economic opportunities. These prospects are, however, undermined by a wide range of maritime security challenges. The nature of these security concerns, in particular the impact of Somali piracy, has resulted in maritime security becoming an emergent priority for the Kenyan government.
As a primer to the SAFE SEAS case study of the maritime security sector in Kenya, a new concept note has been published that explores how the maritime sector is organised, the maritime security problems facing Kenya as well as the existing legal, policy and institutional frameworks for tackling these problems.
SafeSeas Research Associate Dr. Robert McCabe is meeting with various Government ministries with responsibility for the maritime sector in Kenya and Djibouti this week. These high-level meetings are a chance to learn more about how the maritime sector is organised in both countries at policy level and explore different maritime security sector reform processes as well as the successes and failures of capacity building in the region.
In Kenya, Dr McCabe is meeting with the State Department for Fisheries and the Blue Economy (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries); the State Department for Maritime & Shipping Affairs (Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development) and the Chief Research Officer of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) amongst others. In Djibouti, consultations are ongoing with the Ministry of Equipment and Transport; Director of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC); the Djibouti Coast Guard and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs as well as a representative from Djibouti Maritime Security Services Ltd (DMSS).
These consultations will inform the ongoing mapping of the both Djibouti and Kenya’s maritime security sector and provide an outline of the best practice tool kit for maritime security capacity building.
The FishCrime Symposium is an annual event for the community of practitioners addressing fishery crimes and Illegal, Unregulated and Underreported (IUU) fishing. The third installment of the event is held at the headquarters of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna from 25th to 26th of September. SafeSeas principal investigator Prof. Christian Bueger is attending the symposium as observer, to meet stakeholders, and to investigate how the concerns over fishery crime can be best related to maritime security capacity building more generally. Further information on the event is available here.
In an article published with the European Journal of International Relations, Prof Christian Bueger, investigates how the cooperation in counter-piracy off the coast of Somalia can be theorized. Investigating the making of the Best Management Practices and the controversy around the High Risk Area – two of the core devices of counter-piracy – he argues that assemblage theory spurs important insights on how cooperation works in practice. The article in particular highlights the advantages and disadvantages of deformalized politics and working with best practices. The article is titled “Territory, Authority, Expertise: Global Governance and the Counter-Piracy Assemblage”, and available as online first: doi: 10.1177/1354066117725155.
SAFE SEAS Research Associate Dr Robert McCabe’s new book – Modern Maritime Piracy: Genesis, Evolution and Responses – has been published with Routledge this week.
The book explores the genesis and evolution of modern maritime piracy in the western Indian Ocean and southeast Asia including responses by regional and international governments in both policy and practice. It offers new insights, such as the role of external navies in the repression of piracy in the western Indian Ocean prior to the well-documented escalation in 2005.
It also constructs a comparative analytic framework to gauge the effectiveness and shortcomings of modern attempts to counteract piracy, which reveals lessons learned, future policy projections and wider political and strategic implications of maritime crime, adding scholarly depth to the field of maritime security studies, naval history and theory and international relations.
In a new article published with International Affairs, Christian Bueger and Tim Edmunds set out to contextualize the rise of maritime security and discuss what follows for the agenda of maritime security studies, but also the discipline more broadly. One of the areas that the article highlights is the importance of capacity building. The article is available as open access here. Here is the abstract:
This article examines the rise of maritime security in concept and practice. We argue that developments in the maritime arena have flown beneath the radar of much mainstream international relations and security studies scholarship, and that a new agenda for maritime security studies is required. In this article we outline the contours of such an agenda, with the intention of providing orientation and direction for future research. Our discussion is structured into three main sections, each of which outlines a core dimension of the maritime security problem space. We begin with a discussion of the issues and themes that comprise the maritime security agenda, including how it has been theorized in security studies to date. Our argument is that the marine environment needs to be understood as part of an interlinked security complex, which also incorporates strong connections between land and sea. Second, we examine the ways in which maritime security actors have responded to these challenges in practice, focusing on issues of maritime domain awareness, coordination of action, and operations in the field. Third, we turn to the mechanisms through which the new maritime security agenda is being disseminated to local actors through a process of devolved security governance. We focus particularly on efforts to distribute knowledge and skills to local actors through capacity building and security sector reform. In the conclusion, we outline the future challenges for maritime security studies that follow from these observations.
SafeSeas Principal Investigator Prof Christian Bueger and Project Research Associate Dr Robert McCabe will both attend the 11th Pan-European Conference of the European International Studies Association (EISA) in Barcelona this month. The theme of this years conference is “The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crises”.
Prof Bueger will chair several sessions on topics such as ‘Conceptualizing International Practices’ and ‘Rethinking the maritime piracy problem?’, while also participating in roundtable discussions. Dr McCabe will present a paper on Maritime Security Sector Reconstruction and Governance in Somalia and the wider western Indian Ocean region after the decline in incidents of piracy. The main focus of this paper will be on the opportunities and challenges in the design and implementation of maritime security capacity building projects and how these projects manifest in practice.
EISA 2017 therefore presents an excellent opportunity to discuss insights and promote the SafeSeas project with peers as well as build relationships with academics researching analogous areas.
SafeSeas in collaboration with project partners from the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA) at the University of Stellenbosch will hold a workshop on ‘Maritime Security Capacity Building: Towards Best Practices’ in November.
The primary objective of this workshop is to discuss the drafts of the book chapters that present the core outcomes of the project SafeSeas. The goal is to improve the drafts, but also to cross-fertilize insights gained from each case study in order to distil best practices. The workshop will also identify areas of future collaboration and the potential of expanding the SafeSeas project.
The SafeSeas book will be the first to study recent attempts of restructuring maritime security sectors through a focus on the Western Indian Ocean region. It is designed to be a vital resource for scholars interested in international assistance, security sector reform, peacebuilding or statebuilding, as well practitioners involved in the design, implementation or evaluation of maritime security.
The Seychelles provides a particularly interesting case study as an archipelagic Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in which oceans policy for sustainable development and maritime security are core drivers of the governmental agenda.
To illuminate these important issues, SAFE SEAS has published a new Concept Note on Maritime Security in Seychelles that examines how Seychelles regulates its maritime spaces, what maritime security threats it identifies as priority issues and how the country organises its maritime sector.
The concept note illuminates how maritime security is extremely important for a SIDS such as the Seychelles. It is affected by localised issues, such as sustainable development and the protection of biodiversity, but also by wider maritime insecurity in the Western Indian Ocean, such the threat of Somali based piracy.
One of the core challenges of governing the maritime in order to achieve the goals associated with maritime security and the blue economy is the coordination of the different governmental agencies implementing policies at sea and those societal actors that use the sea. Our recent meetings with practitioners in Kenya and Seychelles revealed the different approaches countries are taking in addressing this challenge. Continue Reading