Preventing Piracy off Somalia: Insights from Routine Activity Theory

Michael Townsley, Griffith University In the first decade of the 21st century, the Horn of Africa became the global piracy hot spot, with headlines detailing multi-million dollar ransoms, rescue operations and violence. The international response to Somali-based piracy was organised into three domains: (i) maintaining order in international waters, (ii) reducing ships’ vulnerability, and (iii) … Read more

Economic Factors for Piracy: The Effect of Commodity Price Shocks

Alexander Knorr, University of Colorado Modern maritime piracy has become a significant issue which costs the global economy $24.5 billion per year. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) reports that attacks in major waterways have increased over the past decades. Extensive research has been done with regard to countering piracy and understanding the resurgence of attacks … Read more

The Future of Maritime Security in East Asia: Alternative Scenarios and the Importance of Trust

Sam Bateman, University of Wollongong In a recent article in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Sam Bateman makes predictions about how the maritime environment of East Asia might evolve over the next decade. The article identifies three possible scenarios for the future, as well as the risks of a “strategic shock” that could interfere with predictions of … Read more

Liberal Cooperation vs. Great Power Rivalry? How the New U.S. Seapower Strategy Shapes World Order

In March 2015, the U.S. published its updated and revised “Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready (CS-21R). CS-21R was developed jointly by the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. It is one of the first official documents that tries to translate the strategic “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific”, outlined in the 2012 Defence … Read more

Managing Security Risks at Sea: A Challenge for the Shipping Industry

Hans Liwång, (Swedish Defence University), Karl Sörenson (Swedish Defence University) and Cecilia Österman (Linnaeus University) Ship security measures are often the first and only measures preventing criminal acts at sea. At the same time ship operators have had problems defending the quality of their ship security analysis when it is challenged. Ship security management is … Read more

Norm Subsidiarity in Maritime Security: Why East Asian States Cooperate in Counter-Piracy

Terrence Lee and Kevin McGahan, National University of Singapore Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are the three key littoral countries that border the Straits of Malacca, a major waterway and transit area in Southeast Asia which has traditionally witnessed a fair amount of maritime piracy through the ages.  While these countries generally hold many things in … Read more

The Fourth Annual International Maritime Security Conference ‘Governance’ 23/24 March 2015

Global Directions, Merton College Oxford in Conjunction with the Hudson Trust and the First Sea Lord’s Fellowship Anja Shortland, Julia Amos and Sarah Percy This year’s conference was on the theme of “governance” and explored both state and non-state responses to insecurity, risks and opportunities in the maritime domain. It saw the return of leading international … Read more

China’s Strategic Dilemma in the Indian Ocean

David Brewster, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University China is facing a growing strategic dilemma in the Indian Ocean. The balance of power in the Indian Ocean is changing, driven by the erosion of the longstanding US strategic predominance and the rise of China and India as major powers. Many analysts see a … Read more

Flag States, Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel and Human Rights Violations at Sea

By Jessica N.M. Schechinger, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam It is considered to be the task of a flag state to provide security to commercial vessels flying its flag (Spearin 2012). Yet flag states increasingly transfer this task by allowing ship-owners to hire Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) in order to … Read more

Combatting Maritime Piracy: African Perspectives on an Emerging Threat

Henri Fouché, University of South Africa (UNISA) In 2014 the South African Journal Acta Criminologica (Southern African Journal of Criminology) published a special edition on African perspectives on combating maritime crime. Most articles are based on papers presented at a conference entitled “Sea Piracy: International and Continental Responses” organised by the University of South Africa … Read more