Commentaries

The contact group at 20: Challenges for the upcoming plenary
In July 2017 the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the main global governance body steering the international campaign to address Somali piracy, will hold its 20th plenary meeting in Mauritius. What issues will the CGPCS have to face and what should we expect from the ...
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Towards Blue Justice: Common Heritage and Common Interest in the Maritime
Peter Sutch, Cardiff University The importance and complexity of our political, economic and environmental relationship to the sea makes the evolution of a contemporary normative vision of the maritime essential. We need Blue Justice for the blue economy and for the increasingly contentious politics of the maritime. In this blog ...
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Thinking Blue Economy and Maritime Security together
The Blue Economy and Maritime security are two of the major frameworks for the contemporary discussion of ocean governance. Although some efforts have been made to define what the blue economy consists of, it is yet another fuzzy term with indeterminate meaning of the ocean governance agenda. The term has ...
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Somali sea hijack is a warning signal
The hijacking of the Aris 13 tanker by Somali pirates last week was a warning signal - it reiterates the importance of maintaining international counter-piracy efforts while also building the capacity of western Indian Ocean states to manage and develop their own maritime security needs. SAFE SEAS published a commentary on ...
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International Relations Must Challenge the Freedom of Security at Sea
We should be embarrassed that so little has been written about the politics of the sea in the field of International Relations (IR). Traditionally limited to the study of relations between states, even the cultural turn that so reinvigorated scholarship in IR a few decades ago has maintained the focus ...
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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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