Into the sea: capacity-building innovations and the maritime security challenge

Safeseas is pleased to announce an article co-authored by directors Tim Edmunds and Christian Bueger, and former Research Associate Robert McCabe, has been published in Third World Quarterly.

Titled ‘Into the sea: capacity-building innovations and the maritime security challenge’, the article argues that maritime security capacity-building not only requires further study, but should also be used as an archetype to develop insights for capacity-building and security sector reform more broadly.

Specifically, the article uses the case of the West Indian Ocean to explore capacity-building as a response primarily to Somali piracy. Through this exploration, they are able to examine the innovative characteristics of capacity-building in the maritime sector, which can be used to expand the capacity-building agenda as it is traditionally understood.

The innovations highlighted are: the way in which new types of regional constellations have been produced by thinking from the sea, rather than the land (building regions); the use of informality and networks as a coordination and governance tool (building networks); and the ways in which new forms of technology have been appropriated to make security knowledge production and surveillance an essential element of projects (producing maritime security knowledge).

While challenges and failures are also highlighted, recognising the complexity of the practice of building maritime capacity, capacity-building efforts remain novel in terms of design and approach, and therefore provide the opportunity to develop insights into how to improve capacity-building more broadly.

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