On the 15th of June, I had the pleasure to attend the workshop “Japan and Europe in a contested world”, held at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. At the workshop I was introducing our research on the consequences of the Indo-Pacific narrative for the EU and Japan and the dangers of maritime militarization dynamics.
Our study for the European Parliament on the vulnerabilities of the EU’s subsea data cable infrastructures is now published. The report is available here. It analyses the state of the EU cable system, identifies threat scenarios, and lays out a series of recommendations of how the EU and its member states can enhance resilience. Here is the abstract:
The EU’s subsea data cable network is both vital for global connectivity and vulnerable. This study provides a systematic review of the current security threats, as well as the actors at the origin of these threats. Building on reports and expert input, the paper takes stock of current awareness, preparedness and response mechanisms, both at the EU and Member State level. A number of recommendations suggest how to improve the resilience of the cable network. Proposals build on the need to enhance EU-wide awareness, improve coordination and share information across EU institutions and Member States. In addition, surveillance capabilities must be advanced, response and repair mechanisms strengthened, and the topic mainstreamed across external action.
On June 6th, I am attending the CyDiplo Workshop “Diversifying Cyber Diplomacy”, organized by the University of Bologna. At the workshop I will be giving a talk on the importance of including the material dimension in the agenda, and will investigate how subsea data cables matter for cyber diplomacy and cyber security. I draw on research conducted jointly with Tobias Liebetrau as part of our project on ocean infrastructures.
On the 16.5. I had the pleasure to give a talk at the Institute for Political Science, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany. In my talking I was introducing the key arguments of a work in progress article written with Scott Edwards (Bristol) and Maren Hofius (Hamburg). The article revisits the community of practice framework as an approach to global ordering. We argue that the interaction between communities of practice in global politics should receive more focus. The discussion revolved around the benefits of the communities of practice approach compared to other frameworks for studying ordering, but also how to actually theorize with and from practices.
In a new episode of Sea Control podcast, Alexia Bouallagui, Jan Stockbruegger and I discuss the current situation in the Western Indian Ocean. Drawing on our recent article published in African Security Review, we discuss what other threats than piracy now prevail in the region. We also investigate why the surge of naval activity and strategic competition in the region is a worrying yet underappreciated trend and confronts the Western Indian Ocean with a dilemma. The region relies on external military actors to protect vital shipping lanes, but the presence of these actors also risks importing geopolitical tensions that could undermine regional maritime stability.
What do we mean by theory? How does one theorize? And how does our understanding of theorizing change when relying on practice theories. These are the key questions that I explore in a recently published book chapter. I revisit the current debates on theory in International Relations and cognate disciplines. I then discuss what it means to think about theorizing as a practice. I end in laying out different styles of how one can theorize when drawing on practice theories. The chapter will be interested for those who want to use practice theory, but also those who are interested to theorize. The chapter is available as open access here.
On May 4th I am giving a guest lecture at the Department of Political Science at the University of Bologna. In the lecture I will review the European Union’s approach to maritime security based on a forthcoming paper co-authored with Tim Edmunds. The paper draws on our research on maritime security strategy as well as a talk on the EU’s maritime security strategy I gave last year at the EU Military Committee. Further information and location here.
On April 29th we hosted a gathering of the maritime security community in Ghana to discuss the findings from our AMARIS research project. The summary of the event, written by Felix Mallin and I, is now available here.
On April 27 and 28 two key events of our collective research project AMARIS (Analyzing Maritime Security in Ghana) will take place in Accra. On day one we will have an internal meeting and review the set of current drafts for academic articles and how to drive them to publication. Papers, include a discussion of the problem of inter-agency coordination, the effect of maritime security strategies and on the impact that the concept of maritime security had for governance and organization of the maritime sector in Ghana.
On day two, the AMARIS team will present our key policy insights to the major stakeholders and agencies in Ghana. We will investigate how the maritime threat landscape has been evolving, what the key hurdles are in creating effective maritime security governance, and what best practices can ensure the effective delivery of capacity building. The event is hosted by the Center for Maritime Law and Security Africa one of the member institutions of AMARIS.
The recording of our recent presentation at the Sub-Committe on Security and Defense of the European Parliament is now available to view. In the presentation we discuss how the security of the European subsea data cable infrastructure — critical for the European digital economy. The recording is available here.