To commemorate World Oceans Day, CEMLAWS Africa is hosting a zoom webinar dubbed ‘Gulf of Guinea Oceans Governance Dialogue’ on 8th June to deliberate on recent piracy trends during this Covid-19 era and examine possible responses to curb these threats faced by the region.
On the 6th and 7th of May we held our annual student conference on maritime security in collaboration with the scholars from the SafeSeas network. At the conference students reported on the results of the research projects that they have been carrying out in relation to my seminar on maritime security at the University of Copenhagen. Diverse topics were covered including smuggling at sea, the regional dynamics in the Barent Sea and Arctic as well as the link between infrastructures, energy security and maritime security. Overall 30 contributions were discussed. This year the meeting was held on zoom.
A couple of years back I wrote a paper about ‘field work’. It was written for a workshop on political ethnography and was a reflection on my then ongoing research on counter-piracy governance. Arguing that ‘field work’ is not the right term for what I as well as many others are engaged in, the paper explores problems such as multi-sitedness, time, proximity and experimentation. The edition of the workshop that contains the chapter is now forthcoming. Read it as pre-print here.
My review of Ian Bowers and Swee Lean Collin Koh’s “Grey and White Hulls: An International Analysis of the Navy-Coastguard Nexus” is now published with Contemporary Southeast Asia. The book presents one of the first major comparative studies of how countries organise their maritime security structures. Read here.
Our new research project Analyzing Maritime Insecurity in Ghana (AMARIS) is launching. The project which is part of the SafeSeas family, investigates the inter-linkage between blue crimes in Ghana’s waters, maritime security governance in the country, including a case study of the maritime security strategy, as well as the impact of external capacity building assistance. The project is funded by the Danish International Development Agency DANIDA and is a cooperation between the University of Copenhagen, CEMLAWS Africa, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, and the University of Ghana. It will run until 2022. Part of the project is a training school for junior maritime security analysts from West Africa. More information will be available soon on the SafeSeas website.
The SafeSeas network on maritime security, held a one day workshop on February 28th at the University of Bristol on the challenges that arise for the UK in managing and securing the sea. The event featured a range of high level UK governmental representatives as well as academics from the UK which explored together the threats and risks the UK has to deal with, how to achieve synergies between the wide array of maritime security agencies, and how to balance the tasks at home and abroad.
I chaired one of the three panels, which was particularly concerned about inter-agency coordination and increasing efficiency in maritime security governance. The panel in particular highlighted the importance of trust between practitioners as the key to achieve better coordination.
This week the summer term at the University of Copenhagen starts going up to the end of May. Like last year I will teach a course at masters level on Maritime Security. The course starts out from a brief history of maritime security since the 1950s and then investigates core approaches to understanding the rise of new security thinking at sea, including problematization theory, securitization theory, and semiotic analyses. The course then reviews core actors and responses to marine insecurity – from navies to the UN Security Council, from maritime domain awareness to capacity building. The course concludes with a discussion of student research projects. Contact me if you are interested in the course kit and syllabus.
What can we learn from maritime security for how capacity building is carried out? Analyzing recent capacity building practices in the Western Indian Ocean , a new article on innovation in capacity building addresses this. The article is published by Third World Quarterly and available here. It is one of the outputs of the British Academy funded SafeSeas research project. Contact me if you do not have access through your institution.
This week I had the pleasure to attend a workshop organized by the University of Bielefeld, discussing a new research project on the evolution of world order, and the relation between orders across time. The project is a fascinating new cross-disciplinary collaboration at the crossings of global history, sociology and international relations.
From the 20th to 22nd of November I had the pleasure to attend the Hamburg Insecurity Sessions. The event is a new format to discuss the state of world politics and insecurities developed by the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) in Hamburg and was curated by Dr. Benjamin Tallis. Held under the title Uncancelling the Future the event brought together academics, policy makers and think tanker from across Europe and the North Atlantic region to discuss prospects for new strategic narratives. In my own talk I advocated for the importance of critical optimist position and continuing to highlight the successes in global cooperation that continues to persist.