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:
As part of the ongoing discussion on the blue turn and divergent research perspectives on ocean governance, international relations and maritime security, we held another iteration of the blue ideaslab on the 28the of May. The blue ideaslab provides an open format to discuss research and project ideas as well as work in progress. While previous versions were held physically at the University of Copenhagen, this iteration was online, which also enabled broader international participation. Three sets of ideas were discussed under the title “Crimes and Order at Sea”. Jan Stockbruegger from Brown University introduced his research on the history of maritime order, Edyta Rozko, Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway presented insights from her ongoing research project on fisheries, and Tim Edmunds and myself presented our recent paper on the intersections between different blue crimes.
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.