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.
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 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.
On the 15th of November 2019 the Sydney Maritime Security Forum was held, co-organised by SafeSeas and the University of Sydney. The goal of the event was to strengthen research on maritime security in Australia, and the 15 participants came from different institutions across the country. The event was interdisciplinary and featured presentations from legal scholars, strategy and fishery experts as well as security studies and international relations. Speakers included Justin Hastings, Sarah Phillips, Natalie Klein, Douglas Guilfoyle, Gregory Rose, Andrew Song, David Brewster, James Der Derian and Olli Soursa. At the forum I discussed some of the results from our Transnational Organised Crime at Sea project.
The AEDES Metropolitan Laboratory based in Berlin organised an evening event on “Transit Spaces: (Dis)Connections and the Fluid Places In-Between” (7.11.) at which I had the pleasure to speak. In the talk I outlined how the blue turn gives us new opportunities to think about politics and social relations differently by grounding our thinking in the sea. I ended in discussing different forms of liminality that come to the fore from such perspective.
The event titled “After the Blue Turn: The politics of maritime spaces” brought together a range of scholars based in Copenhagen on the 1st of November to discuss how thinking from the sea bring attention to new political spaces of liminality, such as ports. These are new sites of politics and contestation and raise questions of connectivity, authority and power. 6 presentations addressed this theme. I was presenting my recent chapter on maritime security spaces at the event.
Over the years the University of Copenhagen and the University of Tokyo has developed a close partnership. To strengthen the partnership my Department is visiting our colleagues from the 23rd to 26th of October.
Part of the visit is a meeting on research collaboration as well as a public forum on international cooperation. As part of the forum I will discuss burden sharing and collaboration at sea looking into the fight against piracy as well as other blue crimes, such as smuggling and environmental crimes.
From the 14th to 18th of October the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) is hosting its Legal Expert Network meeting in Mauritius. Part of the meeting is to review the forthcoming 3rd edition of Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners. This concerns in particular new chapters on ship rider provisions, on submarine cable protection as well as stateless vessels.
At the meeting I will be leading a brainstorming exercise on Transnational Maritime Environmental Crime drawing on work conducted in the Safeseas network new project Transnational Organised Crime at Sea (TOCAS). Arguing for distinguishing between three “blue crimes” (crimes against mobility, criminal flows, and environmental crime), I discuss illicit waste trade, pollution crimes, illegal extraction, and other damages to the marine environment and the respective legal regimes addressing these. Part of the discussion will be how to deal with the complexity of the environmental crime at sea regimes.