Maritime Security is a complex, interconnected challenge and addressing it requires close cooperation and coordination among different agencies, including the navies. On April 1st and 2nd I participated in a conference organized by the Naval Staff Strategy Unit and the Global Directions program of Merton College Oxford which aimed at discussing how to rise to these challenges. The conference drew together a range of participants from think tanks, universities, NGO’s, IO’s and navies to ask which strategies can be developed for navies in a maritime security environment. In the conference different regional theaters, including the Gulf, the Mediterranean, or the Gulf of Guinea were discussed as well as the broad range of maritime security issues, stretching from illegal migration and fisheries crime to piracy and climate change were debated. In my own contribution I drew on a recent article published in African Security to ask how a maritime strategy can be build around the task of the facilitation of maritime security communities. Building maritime security communities is a viable end for maritime security strategy. Two core challenges however arise, firstly, the problem of overlap and regime complexity, and, secondly, how to ensure ownership and and organic growth of security communities.
My article titled “Pathways to Practice: Praxiography and International Politics” is now online available as open access on the European Political Science Review website. The article addresses the question what the methodological implications of the practice turn are. Arguing that praxiography is the best label to describe the methodology of practice theory I discuss research strategy as well as different methods to capture practice. The article intends to offer guidelines for those interested in writing a praxiography as well as makes the argument that practice theory requires a genuine methodological discourse.
The edited volume “Modern Piracy. Legal Challenges and Responses” edited by Douglas Guilfoyle has been published by Edward Elgar. The book includes several contributions from international maritime lawyers and gives a broad and in-depth overview of the various legal challenges that arise in counter-piracy. In my own chapter, titled “Responses to Contemporary Piracy: Disentangling the Organizational Field” I argue that an organizational field of counter-piracy has emerged and provide an overview of the practices that drive the field. The chapter intends to give an overview of the diverse set of counter-piracy practices from a theoretically informed perspective.
Together with the journal Global Policy and the Greenwich Maritime Institute I organize a launch event to discuss the special section on Contemporary Maritime Piracy. The special section discusses the problem of piracy from different disciplinary perspectives and is the outcome of a workshop held in London in 2011. Confirmed panellists for the event include Professor Christopher Bellamy, (Director of the Greenwich Maritime Institute) Dr Christian Bueger (Cardiff University), Dr Douglas Guilfoyle (University College London), Dr Axel Klein (University of Kent), Dr Anja Shortland (Brunel University), as well as representatives from the maritime security sector. Further information on the event is available here.
A new edited volume studies contemporary piracy from an (IR) constructivist perspectives and focuses especially on international institutions. The book titled Maritime Piracy and the Construction of Global Governance is edited by Michael J. Struett, Mark T. Nance and Jon D. Carlson and is the outcome of a 2011 workshop sponsored by the International Studies Association. In the chapter I contributed (together with Jan Stockbruegger) we investigate in how far the community of counter-practices can be understood as an alliance or a security community. Drawing on Buzan and Waever’s macrosecuritization framework we ask how actors collaborate and whether they share securitizations.
Our critique of contemporary counter-piracy strategy and the need to apprehend piracy as a peacebuilding problem has been published as a Report of the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), Duisburg (in German only). The Report co-authored with Jan Stockbruegger (U Leiden) and Sascha Werthes (U Duisburg) can be downloaded here
The paper titled “Pirates, Fishermen and Peacebuilding: Options for a Counter-Piracy Strategy in Somalia” has been published by Contemporary Security Policy. The paper develops options for an alternative counter-piracy strategy and is co-authored with Jan Stockbruegger (U Leiden) and Sascha Werthes (U Duisburg).