From the 23rd to the 24th of September we met in Copenhagen to discuss the contours of maritime security studies, different theoretical perspectives on the maritime dimension of security as well as a range of regional arenas. The workshop was a first step to a book manuscript that reviews the challenges of maritime security and how academia can contribute to addressing them. The workshop was hosted by the Centre of Military Studies, Copenhagen University and featured a visit to the Danish Naval Academy and a tour on a Diana class patrol vessel. Participants in the project include Jeremy Black (Exeter), Douglas Guilfoyle (UCL), Carolin Liss (PRIF), Christian Wirth (Griffith), Francois Vrey (Stellenbosch), Thomas Horn Rasmussen, Stale Ulriksen, Basil Germond (Lancaster), Aaron Casavant, Geoffrey Till (King’s), Johannes Kidmose and Lars Bangert Struwe.
At the workshop I presented my paper titled “What is Maritime Security”. In the paper I argue to understand maritime security as a “buzzword”. This implies that to some degree everyone can agree on the importance of maritime security, but on the other side, the concept also hides controversies. Arguing that striving for a universal definition of maritime security is a useless project, I outline three different theoretical strategies to grasp the meaning of maritime security. The first is based on semiotics and explores the relations of maritime security to other concepts such as seapower, marine safety, blue economy or resilience. The second is based on the securitization framework and studies how different issues are made part of the maritime security agenda. The third is based on practice theory and asks what actors do in the name of maritime security. Please contact me to receive a copy of the draft.