Our new research project Analyzing Maritime Insecurity in Ghana (AMARIS) is launching. The project which is part of the SafeSeas family, investigates the inter-linkage between blue crimes in Ghana’s waters, maritime security governance in the country, including a case study of the maritime security strategy, as well as the impact of external capacity building assistance. The project is funded by the Danish International Development Agency DANIDA and is a cooperation between the University of Copenhagen, CEMLAWS Africa, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, and the University of Ghana. It will run until 2022. Part of the project is a training school for junior maritime security analysts from West Africa. More information will be available soon on the SafeSeas website.
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 the summer term at the University of Copenhagen starts going up to the end of May. Like last year I will teach a course at masters level on Maritime Security. The course starts out from a brief history of maritime security since the 1950s and then investigates core approaches to understanding the rise of new security thinking at sea, including problematization theory, securitization theory, and semiotic analyses. The course then reviews core actors and responses to marine insecurity – from navies to the UN Security Council, from maritime domain awareness to capacity building. The course concludes with a discussion of student research projects. Contact me if you are interested in the course kit and syllabus.
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.
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.
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.