How can maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Western Indian Ocean be improved? This is the question I address in a new Policy Brief published by the Institute for Security Studies Pretoria. Much of the current MDA work is in the hands of international actors, and although significant capacity building is underway, projects such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct or the MASE project have not led to a functioning MDA structure. I argue that a focus on people and improved coordination would allow to step up the game.
In a recently published article together with Olga Biegus, we are investigating how the global response to wildlife crime can be improved drawing on the lessons from counter-piracy off the coast of Somalia. The article is published in the South African Crime Quarterly. Here is the abstract:
This article aims at identifying how the global response to poaching can be improved and what role South Africa might play in it. To do so, we examine the emerging global wildlife crime regime and the challenges it faces. To offer an understanding of how governance could be improved, we ask how the success in curbing another transnational crime can serve as an example of international coordination. Through a comparison, we aim at identifying core dimensions by which the coordination of counter-poaching can be improved. Our conclusion stresses the importance of a more focused, inclusive and experimental account. We end in outlining a number of core issues that South Africa should start to consider in its policies towards wildlife crime.
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. Continue reading
On the 16th of June, I visited the Brussels School of International Studies of the University of Kent to attend the exam board. Since this year I am the external examiner of the School responsible for reviewing the master programmes in international relations. The school is providing a fantastic education and is rightfully known as the best UK school abroad in the field. Located in Europe’s capital Brussels, it gives students a unique learning experience in politics and law.
In the second week of June we had the pleasure to host the European Workshops of International Studies (EWIS) in Cardiff. EWIS is the second largest conference format of the European International Studies Association composed of dedicated workshops. 320 participants came for 25 workshops that covered themes from international security, global development, global health, to the politics of representation in museums. Continue reading
In a newly published article titled “Expertise in the Age of Post-Factual Politics: An outline of reflexive strategies”, we discuss how we as academics might respond to the conditions of post-factual politics. In the article, co-authored with Trine Villumsen Berling and published in Geoforum, we argue that practical reflexivity allows for developing strategies. We draw on a range of social theorists (Gramsci, Bourdieu, Dewey, Rorty) that offer three outlines of practical reflexivity: The organic, collective and ironic strategy. Access the article here, or contact me by email if you want a copy.
On the 30th of May I am giving a lecture as the keynote of the International Conference on Maritime Security hosted by the Lusiada Research Centre for International Policy and Security, Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa. In the lecture titled “Situating Maritime Security” I discuss how the maritime security is related to the broader policy debates on ocean governance as well as international security. Drawing on earlier work on the concept of maritime security and the lessons from piracy, I argue that in particular the global maritime domain awareness structures and international capacity building efforts require further scrutiny.
In May I attended the workshop “Combating Transnational Maritime Threats off Africa – through Collaborative Efforts in Policy Making, Law Enforcement, and Capacity Building”. The workshop was a joint initiative by the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership (SIGLA), Stellenbosch University, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) International Counterproliferation Program (ICP) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in cooperation with the US Embassy, South Africa.
The three-day workshop aimed at investigating the links between different maritime crimes and how these can be addressed through joint transnational responses. Representatives from South Africa, the US as well as a broad range of Eastern and West African countries participated in the event. In my talk I drew on the initial results of my BA funded research project SAFE SEAS and highlighted the importance of identifying synergies between development, security and environmental capacity building projects. I also argued that more efforts need to be made to ensure that coastal communities benefit from capacity building and are recognized as important actors in ensuring maritime security.
I am attending a workshop titled “Maritime Crime beyond Piracy: Trends, Challenges and Interconnections” organized by the Centre for Military Studies of the University of Copenhagen. The goal of the workshop is to explore the relation between piracy and other maritime insecurities and how synergies between different areas of maritime security provision can be better developed. As part of the workshop, I am giving a talk that reflects on the recent resurgence of piracy off the coast of Somalia and how counter-piracy work, in particular, capacity building, can be better integrated into a broader maritime security architecture for the Western Indian Ocean region
In a Symposium of International Studies Quarterly Online we discuss in what way constructivist International Relations theorizing is advanced or challenged by the rise of international practice theories and relationalism. The starting point is a theory note by David McCourt, who argued that practice theories and relationalism are the new IR constructivisms. In my response to that claim, I argue that practice theories have their own conceptual and methodological approaches and it hence doesn’t make any sense to subsume them under constructivism. Other contributors include Ted Hopf, Oliver Kessler, Stacie Goddard, Alex Montgomery, Cecelia Lynch, Ty Solomon and Swati Srivastava.