Christian Bueger


Commentaries on Beirut port disaster

In the afternoon of August 4th, a major explosion in the port of Beirut killed over 100 people and left thousands wounded. Given the importance of the port for Lebanon’s economy, the consequences will be felt for years.

Together with Scott Edwards I have written a series of commentaries that aim at contextualising the disaster and analysing its consequences for global trade and port management. We particular highlight the link to abandoned ships and containers, as well as the broader challenges posed by the trade in hazardous materials.

Our first general analysis was published by The Conversation, the day after the disaster. Read the piece titled “Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not – researchers.” We argue to interpret the event in the light of the broader problem of abandoned ships and container.

Our second comment focuses on Africa. Recognising that African ports are particularly vulnerable, we argue for dedicated capacity building work to address the handling of hazardous material and waste crimes. The article titled “African ports need to learn the lessons of Beirut” was published by African Business Magazine on August 6th.

A third comment published with The Diplomat on August 7th, investigates the consequences for Southeast Asia, arguing that ports in the region have struggled in the past and now need to step up there game. Read “The Beirut Disaster Is a Wake-up Call for Southeast Asia. The devastating explosion in Beirut reminds us how vulnerable Southeast Asian ports might be.”


New article on blue crimes

Much confusion surrounds the question what kind of crimes at sea do need attention. The UN Security Council struggled with this question, as does the larger maritime security discourse. To offer new foundations, we offer in a new article a matrix for how to organise the debate. We propose the concept of blue crime as a way of thinking and organising the discussion on transnational organised crime at sea in a new article published with Marine Policy. It is one of the outcome of our TOCAS project and co-authored with Tim Edmunds. Read it here.


Presentation at African Maritime Collaborative Working Group

On July 16th I had the pleasure to give a presentation on our our new project AMARIS to the African Maritime Collaborative Working Group by the US government. The group seeks to gather the US government’s “African Maritime Community of Interest in an open thought-provoking environment, […] to better enable US participation in African and worldwide maritime Domain Integration and Security Awareness.”

In the presentation I set out the core objectives of AMARIS for understanding the maritime security situation in Ghana, and what broader lessons can be gained from it. I particularly highlighted the potential of our training school to form a sustainable network of maritime security analysts.


Awareness Meeting of the IFC

The Information Fusion Center (IFC) based in Singapore is one of the most important regional maritime security information sharing centers. One of their core functions is to collect and distribute information on maritime security incidents to an international public and in particular the international shipping community.

One of the formats that the IFC uses is the so-called Shared Awareness Meeting (known as SAM). SAM takes place every couple of months and it is usually a half day meeting in Singapore bringing the regional stakeholders together. On the 15th of July I had the opportunity to participate in the 35th SAM. Due to Covid restrictions it was held for the first time completely virtual. The meeting attracted an unprecedented number of 200 participants.

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Journal of International Studies editorial board meeting

In spring this year I have accepted the invitation by the Journal of International Studies to join their international advisory board. The journal is based in Malaysia, fully open access and published since 15 years. It is an important outlet to give scholars from the Global South and especially the Southeast Asian region a voice in the global debates.

I am hence glad to offer my support to the journal. On July the 13th, I was able to join my first board meeting. The journal editors are ambitious and want to continue their successful mission. Like other journals key challenges lie in the increasingly competitive publishing environment, predatory journals, but also how to ensure high visibility in the internet age. I am sure that the journal’s team will tackle these challenges. If you have an article that fits the journal, do consider them as one of the upcoming and emerging outlets.


AMARIS moves to phase 2

Our new research project AMARIS, Analyzes MARitime InSecurity in Ghana. Across 4 work packages the participants based in Copenhagen and Accra investigate expressions of blue crime in Ghana, national maritime security governance as well as capacity building assistance. The project is organised in three phases. To complete phase 1 the inception phase, we held our first larger meeting – the kick off day – on 25.06.2020. The main discussions were devoted to research methodology and data gathering strategy for the upcoming field phase.

The AMARIS team, meeting at the virtual kick off day


What are the peace and security challenges of the maritime?

A new handbook chapter that I co-authored with Dr. Jessica Larsen from the Danish Institute of International Studies in Copenhagen, provides an overview and synthesis of the challenges that security, development and peace policies face at sea.

Published in a new handbook on Peace, Security and Development the chapter discusses different manifestations of blue crime, the responses to it, and emerging topic areas, such as port security, critical infrastructures at sea or environmental crime. The chapter makes a strong claim for paying more attention to the intersections of blue crimes and calls for more interdisciplinary connections. The Chapter is available here. For a free copy please contact me.


Do we have the right data for fighting piracy?

One of the core objectives of our Transnational Organised Crime at Sea Project is to systematically review what kind of evidence is available on different forms of blue crime. In a recent event we investigated what kind of data is available on marine piracy and how it can be improved for different purposes reaching from early warning, incident responses, prosecution to trend analysis and policy formulation. Held on the 9th of June, we discussed the outcome of a report on piracy together with representatives from the IMB, shipping industry, UNODC and academia. Here is the video:


Covid and Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

I had the pleasure to contribute to an event organised by our partner the Center for Maritime Law and Security Africa (CEMLAWS) based in Ghana. CEMLAWS is one of the work package leaders in our new project AMARIS. The webinar, held this Monday, focused on current trends and developments in the region. As current number indicate pirates are increasingly widening their operational terrain in the region, attacking more frequently in the Gulf of Guinea countries, and going further out to sea. The same time capacity building efforts are progressing well. Yet there are worries that Covid leads to less resource committments both within and from outside the region. Participants hence called for more innovative thinking making the best out of the current situation. Watch the video here:

GULF OF GUINEA OCEANS GOVERNANCE DIALOGUE: Covid-Piracy, Coastal Communities, Needed Responses

GULF OF GUINEA OCEANS GOVERNANCE DIALOGUE: Covid-Piracy, Coastal Communities, Needed Responses

Gepostet von Centre For Maritime Law And Security Africa – CEMLAWS Africa am Montag, 8. Juni 2020