Christian Bueger


Department visits partner university in Tokyo

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.


UNODC Expert Meeting in Mauritius

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.


Maritime Security Conference in Nigeria

To revitalise the African discussion on maritime security the government of Nigeria is organising a Global Maritime Security Conference held in Abuja from the 7th to 9th of October. At the event I will give one of the keynote speeches, discussing different reasons for why there continues to be a lack of attention for the sea, investigating in particular neo-colonial arguments and the exploitative tenets in the blue economy project.


UNODC training week in Stellenbosch

From the 24th to 27th of September I will be attending the training week of UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), held in Stellenbosch, South Africa. At the event I will deliver two training sessions. The first one looks at Environmental Crime at Sea, and is largely a scoping exercise, asking how we should conceptualise environmental crimes in the context of ocean governance and the anthroprocene. The second session focuses on Maritime Security Governance drawing on the SafeSeas Best Practice Toolkit and the governance model presented there as well as the relevance of maritime security strategy. I will also chair a public roundtable jointly organised with SIGLA. The roundtable is titled “Caught between AIMS-2050 and Lomé: Why do African states still not care about the seas and oceans?”. It features a range of South Africa based maritime security experts and investigates the reasons for the lack of attention in African states for ocean governance and maritime security.


IR scholars meet in Sofia

This week the European International Studies Association, the largest European association for international relations research holds its annual meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.

I am attending the event for three days, mainly in the capacity of the co-chair of the International Practice section, I have been organising together with Alena Drieschova (U Cardiff). I will also be representing the European Journal of International Security at the event.


Presentation on Maritime Domain Awareness

Danish Navy in Port

This week the industry fair MAST Northern Coasts was held in Copenhagen, bringing a range of international naval and industry representatives to the city. The exhibition was accompanied by a small conference at which I had the pleasure to give a talk on maritime domain awareness (MDA). Drawing on the research on MDA in different regions, I looked into the questions of what is difficult in implementing MDA and why we don’t see the emergence of a Baltic regional MDA structure.


Workshop on Fritz Kratochwil’s Praxis

On the 12th and 13th of July I attended a workshop in Frankfurt which had the objective to explore the different contributions the recent book by Fritz Kratochwil makes to different social science debate. In Praxis: On Acting and Knowing, published in 2018, Kratochwil presents a new reading of political practices based on a discussion of Aristotle, Hume and Wittgenstein. The book explores different kinds of international practices drawing on a wide set of examples drawing mainly from international law.

Participants explored different aspects of the book and how it is linked to questions of international systems and differentiation, temporality, history and change, and in what ways it offers a new way of theorizing. In my own contribution I investigated what style of theorizing the book offers, pointing to its practice of building associations. I also asked what the methodological consequences of such an understanding of theorizing are.


Talk on Expertise and Policy Advice in Frankfurt

What are the consequence of a relational understanding of knowledge for how we organize expertise and policy advice? This was the core question of the talk that I gave at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt on the 11th of July. Drawing on Steve Woolgar’s critique of romantic understandings of knowledge transfer, I outlined the theory of epistemic infrastructures and how a focus on epistemic practices and problematic situations provides new directions for scholarly action.


Maritime Ideaslab in Copenhagen

As part of an ongoing collaboration between the University of Sydney and the University of Copenhagen, I organised together with the Center for Global Criminology an ideaslab on maritime security on the 27th of June. Titled “Insecurity, Crime and Cooperation at Sea”: New Perspectives on Maritime Security” the goal of the day was to explore different ideas from international relations, security studies, and anthropology of how our thinking changes if we initiate inquiry from the sea and not the land.

The day provided an opportunity to exchange views on why and how the maritime is a site and a view point from which to explore the social and political differently. In the background was the observation that the majority of social science disciplines have focused on the land and rather ignored the sea. What has been called “sea blindness”, however, is gradually changing. Increasingly the sea is not taken as an empty void, but understood as a rich space filled with meaning, actions and life. Emerging research challenges the land/sea dichotomy and is interested in connectivity, flows and chokepoints, piracy and other forms of maritime crime, or ports and maritime infrastructures. The six presentations of the day picked up these themes respectively.

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Presentation on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific

What are the costs and benefits of thinking in terms of an Indo-Pacific region? Why do certain actors advocate to strategize in those terms? On June the 3rd and 4th I had the pleasure to attend a conference in Paris that discussed these questions. The conference was organised jointly by IRSEM, Science Po, the University of Cambridge and GIGA.

My own presentation was titled “More than a sum of its parts? Networked maritime security and the fabrication of the Indo-Pacific”. In the presentation I drew attention to the scalar politics of the Indo-Pacific pointing in particular to the political effects the fabrication of the Indo-Pacific region has in terms of how it limits agency to states with blue water naval capacities, and how it undermines regional cooperation. Contact me if you are interested in the full presentation.