From the 26th to the 30th of April I will be attending a Ministerial Conference on maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean, held in Mauritius. At the meeting, I am presenting some of the insights of the SafeSeas project and also attend the strategy meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
On April the 15th I will be giving a keynote address to the Pacific Islands Forum’s Regional Security Information Sharing Workshop held at the headquarters of the Forum Fishery Agency in Solomon Islands. The objective of the workshop is to develop the contours of a Maritime Domain Awareness architecture for the region taking the existing fishery surveillance center as a starting point. The goal will be further to make steps towards codifying the architecture in the forthcoming Biketawa Plus agreement on regional security cooperation.
In my keynote address, I will discuss the opportunities and risks related to national and regional maritime domain awareness drawing on the Safeseas Best Practice Toolkit and my recent research on regional maritime domain awareness structures in the Meditteranean, the Western Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia.
The 2nd, revised version of the book International Practice Theory, co-authored with Frank Gadinger is now published and avialable through all good bookstores. The blurb reads as follows:
International Practice Theory is the definitive introduction to the practice turn in world politics, providing an accessible, up-to-date guide to the approaches, concepts, methodologies, and methods of the subject. Situating the study of practices in contemporary theory and reviewing approaches ranging from Bourdieu’s praxeology and communities of practice to actor-network theory and pragmatic sociology, it documents how they can be used to study international practices empirically. The book features a discussion of how scholars can navigate ontological challenges such as order and change, micro and macro, bodies and objects, and power and critique. Interpreting practice theory as a methodological orientation, it also provides an essential guide for the design, execution, and drafting of a praxiographic study.
For the second edition we have made several significant changes, and in particular, extended the coverage of theorists and recent works in the field. We have also broadened the discussion of methods and research strategies. Contact me by email if you are interested in receiving a review copy of the book.
From the April to June, I will be an in resident senior visiting fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. During my residential period in Singapore, I will work on advancing conceptual work on the theory of epistemic infrastructures, a case study of maritime domain awareness, and on manuscripts on informal global governance and praxiographic text analysis.
During March I will be visiting Australia to meet a range of partners in the fields of international relations theory and maritime security governance. I am also scheduled to give lectures in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
One of the core outcomes of my research project SAFESEAS is now published. The report titled “Mastering Maritime Security. Reflexive Capacity Building and the Western Indian Ocean Experience” is the result of 16 months work. The report consolidates the experience in capacity building in that region and offers a best practice toolkit for maritime security practitioners in calling for the importance of reflexivity. The report will be launched at a Symposium in Nairobi next week.
As part of my project SafeSeas. A Study of Maritime Security Capacity Building in the Western Indian Ocean, we are organizing a High-Level Symposium on Maritime Security, in Nairobi, 2.3.2018. At the symposium, the SafeSeas policy report titled “Mastering Maritime Security. Reflexive Capacity Building and the Western Indian Ocean Experience” will be launched. The report provides a concise introduction into the problems of maritime security and presents a best practice toolkit for maritime security governance and external capacity building assistance.
On January 31st, I gave a lecture to the staff and students of the Military Academy of South Africa. Drawing on the core insights from SAFESEAS, in particular, the current draft of the best practice toolkit and the recent article in International Affairs, I contextualized maritime security and spoke about the dedicated challenges of it. I addressed the experiences with maritime security strategies, inter-agency challenges as well as the promises and perils of information sharing and maritime domain awareness.
From the end of December 2017 until February 2018, I will be an in resident visiting fellow at the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA). SIGLA is a research institute of Stellenbosch University located with the Faculty of Military Science, Saldanha, South Africa. I have been a research fellow with SIGLA since the beginning of 2017 to contribute to its ongoing work on maritime security and governance.
During my residential period in Saldanha, I will focus on finalizing the research outputs of the British Academy funded research project SafeSeas and work on my manuscript on international maritime security practices.
At the 2017 Our Oceans Conference, Seychelles president Danny Faure announced that the country would soon begin drafting a maritime security strategy:
“Maritime security is an extremely important component of the sustainable development of the ocean economy. One of the expected results of the blue economy strategy is greater protection for Seychelles’ ocean space and resources through better coordination across different sectors, application of protective measures and greater use of surveillance and enforcement tools. This is certainly a formidable challenge for a SIDS like Seychelles. But, because of our limited and competing resources, it is particularly important that we have a well thought-out maritime security strategy”.
On December 15th the governmental working group that will draft the Seychelles Comprehensive Maritime Security Strategy held its inaugural meeting. At the meeting, I gave a short briefing on the lessons from other maritime security strategies for Seychelles. I also introduced some of the results of the project SafeSeas so the research outcomes can inform the planning process.