Commentaries

How do small states influence international counterpiracy policy?
Ulrik Trolle Smed and Anders Wivel, University of Copenhagen The piracy problem in East Africa gained international attention in particular from 2005 and onwards. In this international setting, Denmark, a small state with strong maritime interests and tradition, experienced a surprising amount of tailwind for its counterpiracy efforts and policy ...
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The Concept of “Capacity Building”
Concepts are not only descriptive of our activities, they are also prescriptive. They direct actions and provide a certain understanding of how things should be done. They stand for distinct (political) projects. The projects analyzed in SAFE SEAS aim at building capacity for maritime security. While the concept of maritime ...
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Defining Maritime Security
Maritime Security is a buzzword and no consensual definition has emerged on the concept. The absence of a universal definition is not necessarily a problem given the political character of the term, and the need for having country and region specific understandings of what challenges maritime security poses. In outlining ...
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What’s wrong with the US Maritime Security Sector Reform Guide?
Recognizing that capacity building in the maritime security sector lacks guidance and is too often conducted in an ad-hoc manner, in 2010 several U.S. government agencies, including USAID, published the Maritime Security Sector Reform (MSSR) Guide. A focus on functions The goal of the guide is to assist countries in ...
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NATO’s fight against Somali pirates: the end of an unsung success story
Last week operation ‘Ocean Shield’ terminated ending NATO’s six year mission to protect the sea lanes of Western Indian Ocean. Will the world miss the operation? Most likely not. Ocean Shields was one of the so-called “big three” missions fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia. Working hand in hand ...
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Knowing the Sea: The Prospects and Perils of Maritime Domain Awareness
Christian Bueger & Amaha Senu, Cardiff University How do we know the sea? How can we understand the activities at sea, as well as the dangers and opportunities the sea presents? Addressing these questions is important for enhancing the public understanding of the sea. But it is also vital for ...
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Maritime Crime in Nigeria and Waters Beyond: A New Dataset, 2009 to 2013
Lisa Otto, Coventry University In a recent article published in Africa Insight, Lisa Otto puts forward the findings from her analysis of a five-year dataset for maritime crime that she collected and collated for the period 2009 to 2013. Analysis of this data, which was collected by cross-referencing reports from ...
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What Future for the Contact Group on Somali Piracy? Options for Reform
2016 marks the beginning of the transition of the counter-piracy response in the Horn of Africa. Many states have already significantly reduced their involvement in counter-piracy. Recent revisions of the counter-piracy architecture raise the question of what the future holds for the main coordination body, the Contact Group on Piracy ...
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From Military Vessel Protection to Private Security Companies: The Italian Anti-piracy Approach
Eugenio Cusumano, Leiden University The rise of piracy has informed major transformations in Italian maritime security policies. In a recent article in Ocean Development & International Law, Stefano Ruzza and I analyse Italy’s approach to deploy armed vessel protection teams on board of ships. Here I draw attention to a ...
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Contemporary Piracy as an Issue of Academic Inquiry: A Bibliography
Jan Stockbruegger, Brown University, & Christian Bueger, Cardiff University We have compiled a new version of the Piracy Studies Bibliography, which you can access as PDF here. The aim of this bibliography is to gather a comprehensive collection of academic works on contemporary (post WWII) maritime piracy, with a focus ...
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