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.
From the 24th to 27th of September I will be attending the training week of UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), held in Stellenbosch, South Africa. At the event I will deliver two training sessions. The first one looks at Environmental Crime at Sea, and is largely a scoping exercise, asking how we should conceptualise environmental crimes in the context of ocean governance and the anthroprocene. The second session focuses on Maritime Security Governance drawing on the SafeSeas Best Practice Toolkit and the governance model presented there as well as the relevance of maritime security strategy. I will also chair a public roundtable jointly organised with SIGLA. The roundtable is titled “Caught between AIMS-2050 and Lomé: Why do African states still not care about the seas and oceans?”. It features a range of South Africa based maritime security experts and investigates the reasons for the lack of attention in African states for ocean governance and maritime security.
This week the European International Studies Association, the largest European association for international relations research holds its annual meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.
I am attending the event for three days, mainly in the capacity of the co-chair of the International Practice section, I have been organising together with Alena Drieschova (U Cardiff). I will also be representing the European Journal of International Security at the event.
This week the autumn term starts at the University of Copenhagen. Over the next 14 weeks I will be teaching two courses, both at masters level, with 170 students in total.
The course Concepts and Methods of International Relations is a mandatory post-graduate level survey of the discipline of IR from the perspective of key concepts that have driven the debates. The course starts out from foundational discussion of concepts of knowledge, theory, concept, critique and methods. This creates the basis for investigating a set of influential concepts in the discipline, including structure, modernity, rationality, norms, culture, discourse, practice, space, technology, Anthropocene, and queer. The course concludes with a discussion of what to do with these concepts.
The second course “Knowledge Production and Evaluation” is a core subject in the Security and Risk Management master programme. It is broadly structured around literature from social theory, anthrpology and science and technology studies interested in how knowledge is produced in practice and how it is linked to politics and decision making. The course revisits core frameworks, such as epistemic communities, and actor-network theory and then a share framework for the study of epistemic practices is developed and tested through exercises.
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”.
From the 21st to 27th of July I attended a training course on Civil-Military Approaches for Maritime Security organised by the Institute for Security Governance, in Monterey, CA. The course is part of the US capacity building work on maritime security and taught since 2008. As part of the course I delivered a module on maritime domain awareness, relying on my 2015 article on Maritime Domain Awareness in Southeast Asia as well as the results of the SafeSeas Best Practice Toolkit and the model of maritime security governance it outlines. I also reviewed the core ideas behind Maritime Domain Awareness, and discussed with the participants the core hindrances to information sharing.