On the 27th of June I will be giving a lecture at the University of Capetown’s Faculty of Law. In the talk I will introduce some of the core insights on global security governance that can be developed from the fight against piracy. The talk is titled “The fight against Somali piracy is over, isn’t it? Insights from a Laboratory of Global Security Governance”. Please find the abstract below.
The fight against Somali piracy is widely hailed as an exemplary case of successful international cooperation. The international community developed a system which contained piracy to reasonable levels within a short time span. For many piracy provides hence a template of how to organize global responses to transnational crime and other insecurities. Yet, how did this cooperation work in practice? What are the benefits and limits of the form of governance developed? Arguing that counter-piracy presents a case of experimental governance, Christian Bueger draws on a three year ethnography with the international contact group orchestrating the response to Somali piracy to address these questions. He briefly revisits some of the experiments the group conducted, and shows the importance of informality as well as science and technology in the cooperation. The case however also documents the limits of experimental governance: with the success of counter-piracy and the move from threat to risk the structures are increasingly contested and re-politicized