Recording – What are the root causes of maritime piracy?

SafeSeas hosted the event ‘What are the causes of maritime piracy’ on 29th April 2021.

Maritime piracy continues to be the most pressing blue crime on the international security agenda. Piracy is a problem of particular concern in the Gulf of Guinea today but remains a significant challenge in the Gulf of Aden, the Malacca Strait, and the Sulu and Celebes Seas too. An international consensus has emerged that in order to tackle piracy effectively, its root causes must be addressed. This event assembles the world’s leading scholars on maritime piracy to address these root causes and the limitations of military deterrence at sea and international capacity building. The discussion builds on a recently published book by presenters Ursula Daxecker and Brandon Prins – Pirate Lands (Oxford University Press 2021) – in which the authors develop a new model to explain why and how piracy occurs. Our panelists discuss insights from the book, with a focus on the following questions:

Are poverty and environmental degradation the main causes of piracy?
Can international capacity building or naval mission provide quick fixes to stop piracy?
What is the link between piracy and other blue crimes?
What time horizons will be required to reduce the risk of piracy?

Joining them were Christian Bueger, Anja Shortland, Stig Jarle Hansen and Jessica Larsen. The session was chaired by Tim Edmunds.

Core insights from their debate were: think local, consider push and pull factors of blue crime, and the “pirates of tomorrow”.

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Posted by Scott Edwards

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.

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