Christian Bueger


New article presents a model for changes in governance

In a new article authored with Tim Edmunds (University of Bristol), we develop a novel model to study change in international orders. We show the value of the model of pragmatic ordering by studying transformations in ocean governance. The article is available as a first view with Review of International Studies. Contact me to receive a free copy.

We advance pragmatist and practice-theoretical assumptions that invite us to emphasize ordering processes, everyday and informal activities, as well as experimental forms of governance. On this basis we develop a five-stage model of change:

Model of Pragmatic Ordering

The model integrates philosophical ideas with recent evidence from global governance research on the rise of informality and experimentalism. We then use this model to study the oceans, first zooming in on the changes induced by the arrival of maritime security and then second on the developments in the Western Indian Ocean.

As we show the oceans are not facing an emerging state of anarchy or disorder but are subject to a substantial re-ordering process. The model of pragmatic ordering is highly valuable to investigate the consequences of other recently recognized problems, such as extremism, climate change or cyber security.


Presentation at major meeting on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

This week the most important informal governance forum addressing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, is holding its meeting. A recording of the event is available here.

Upon invitation of the current chair, the US Department of State, I am giving a joint presentation with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were invited to speak about how academic research might inform counter-piracy efforts.

The background is our research project AMARIS which is funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. AMARIS analyses maritime insecurity in Ghana, and aims at informing policy by studying a paradigmatic case in the region. Our questions are: What can be learned from Ghana for the region? How can maritime security governance be reformed and what is the role of international assistance?

In the presentation I argue that academics can inform responses, on three levels:

  1. Providing a better understanding of what the problem of piracy actually is by contextualising it, comparing it, and offering insights on structures, change and root causes.
  2. By analysing what works and what doesn’t and laying out new alternative actions not previously considered.
  3. In being directly part of the response, through awareness raising measures, science diplomacy or training and education activities.

With the presentation I hope to address some of the misunderstandings in terms of what academics can do and what not, but also ensure a more productive dialogue.

Contact me, if you are interested in a copy of the presentation or want to watch the video.


Discussion on Blue Criminology

Why do we need blue criminology and what are its objectives? That was the key question we discussed at an event hosted by the University of Plymouth’s Center for Blue Governance.

Held on November 25th, Tim Edmunds and I presented our understanding of the concept of blue crime, based on a recently published paper. The concept of blue crime is an invitation to think across disciplines how organised crime plays out at sea. It also has the objective to investigate how different responses interrelate and what could be done about the fragmentation of the response.


Presentation at IFC Maritime Security Event

The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) based in Singapore is one of the most important international hubs for sharing information on the maritime domain. It enhances the global understanding what issues at sea need attention.

One element of this work are frequent events for maritime stakeholders and an interested public. On the 25th of November I had the pleasure to contribute to the 2020 Maritime Security Webinar.

At the seminar I provided an overview of maritime information sharing initiatives and discussed the numerous challenges these face drawing on my recent article on the subject.


New exploratory project on submarine data cables

Submarine data cables are one of the most important critical infrastructures of the digital age. Surprisingly little is known about how the cable network works, how it is governed and what kind of politics it entails.

In a new exploratory research project funded by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, we study the cable network focusing on the cases of Denmark and South Africa. The project is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, the Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria), and the SafeSeas network on maritime security.


New edited volume on maritime security

Our book Capacity Building for Maritime Security. The Western Indian Ocean Experience is now out. The volume, co-edited with Tim Edmunds and Robert McCabe is one of the outcomes of our British Academy funded research project.

In the chapters 14 authors, many of which are from the Western Indian Ocean region investigate the challenges linked to maritime security in general, but also in particular countries.

The book starts with an overview of the challenges linked to maritime security capacity building. It offers a framework for evaluating and studying gaps, needs and progress in developing maritime security responses. Seven countries are studied in detail: Israel, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles, Djibouti, and Somalia.

The book complements the best practice toolkit for maritime security capacity building published earlier. It is a must read for anyone interested in maritime security, how to best organize responses, and how to deliver capacity building. It is a major new source for those engaged in improving maritime security, ocean governance, but also provides new analytical thinking for the scholarly debate.

The book is available via the Publisher’s website. You can also contact the SafeSeas team or me directly to obtain sample chapters.


Presentation at NATO Maritime Security Conference

What are the consequences of the Anthropocene for maritime security? How will climate change and heigthened awareness for marine conservation impact blue crimes and the work of maritime security forces?

These are the questions that I address in a talk given at the NATO Maritime Security Centre of Excellence 2020 conference on September 16th.

A video of the presentation is available here.


Webinar on blue crime

Piracy, smuggling and illegal fishing are three blue crimes increasingly high on the international agenda. Such crimes have different expressions across the world’s maritime regions and affect human lives, political stability and economic interests in different ways, ranging from their impact on coastal communities to international shipping and even national security. What other crimes need attention? How are crimes linked to each other? These are the questions that we will discuss at a SafeSeas webinar on blue crime and the transformation of the maritime security agenda on Thursday, September 10th.

Watch the recorded event here.


Podcast on Blue Crime

In a recent episode of the podcast SeaControl of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), I discuss the basic ideas of our recent paper on blue crime. Co-authored with Tim Edmunds, the paper published in Marine Policy develops a new matrix of transnational organised sea. In the podcast I discuss why such a move is important to get better at understanding hidden crimes and the interlinkages between them. Listen to it here.