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.
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.
What are the challenges in governing maritime security? How can the capacity gap closed through capacity building projects? What guidelines can make such work more effective? These are the questions that I address in a new short article published in the Seychelles Research Journal. I discuss the key insight developed in our last research project which were published as a best practice tool kit titled “Mastering Maritime Security”.
My short review of James Alix Michel’s Rethinking The Oceans – Towards the Blue Economy is available as online first with the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. In the review, I highlight the productivity of interpreting blue economy as a kaleidoscope, rather than striving for a universal definition. I then argue for the importance of paying more attention to the link between blue economy and maritime security. Free pre-print copies of the review are available here.
How can maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Western Indian Ocean be improved? This is the question I address in a new Policy Brief published by the Institute for Security Studies Pretoria. Much of the current MDA work is in the hands of international actors, and although significant capacity building is underway, projects such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct or the MASE project have not led to a functioning MDA structure. I argue that a focus on people and improved coordination would allow to step up the game.
In a recently published article together with Olga Biegus, we are investigating how the global response to wildlife crime can be improved drawing on the lessons from counter-piracy off the coast of Somalia. The article is published in the South African Crime Quarterly. Here is the abstract:
This article aims at identifying how the global response to poaching can be improved and what role South Africa might play in it. To do so, we examine the emerging global wildlife crime regime and the challenges it faces. To offer an understanding of how governance could be improved, we ask how the success in curbing another transnational crime can serve as an example of international coordination. Through a comparison, we aim at identifying core dimensions by which the coordination of counter-poaching can be improved. Our conclusion stresses the importance of a more focused, inclusive and experimental account. We end in outlining a number of core issues that South Africa should start to consider in its policies towards wildlife crime.
In a newly published article titled “Expertise in the Age of Post-Factual Politics: An outline of reflexive strategies”, we discuss how we as academics might respond to the conditions of post-factual politics. In the article, co-authored with Trine Villumsen Berling and published in Geoforum, we argue that practical reflexivity allows for developing strategies. We draw on a range of social theorists (Gramsci, Bourdieu, Dewey, Rorty) that offer three outlines of practical reflexivity: The organic, collective and ironic strategy. Access the article here, or contact me by email if you want a copy.
In a Symposium of International Studies Quarterly Online we discuss in what way constructivist International Relations theorizing is advanced or challenged by the rise of international practice theories and relationalism. The starting point is a theory note by David McCourt, who argued that practice theories and relationalism are the new IR constructivisms. In my response to that claim, I argue that practice theories have their own conceptual and methodological approaches and it hence doesn’t make any sense to subsume them under constructivism. Other contributors include Ted Hopf, Oliver Kessler, Stacie Goddard, Alex Montgomery, Cecelia Lynch, Ty Solomon and Swati Srivastava.