In a new episode of Sea Control podcast, Alexia Bouallagui, Jan Stockbruegger and I discuss the current situation in the Western Indian Ocean. Drawing on our recent article published in African Security Review, we discuss what other threats than piracy now prevail in the region. We also investigate why the surge of naval activity and strategic competition in the region is a worrying yet underappreciated trend and confronts the Western Indian Ocean with a dilemma. The region relies on external military actors to protect vital shipping lanes, but the presence of these actors also risks importing geopolitical tensions that could undermine regional maritime stability.
The Australian navy is hosting the Indo Pacific Seapower 2022 conference from the 10th to 14th of May, and I am delighted to attend. I will be giving one of the keynote addresses. In my talk I revisit the evolution of maritime security thinking. I argue that there are different waves of maritime security and speculate about whether there is a new wave on the horizon. The recording of the presentation is available here.
What do we mean by theory? How does one theorize? And how does our understanding of theorizing change when relying on practice theories. These are the key questions that I explore in a recently published book chapter. I revisit the current debates on theory in International Relations and cognate disciplines. I then discuss what it means to think about theorizing as a practice. I end in laying out different styles of how one can theorize when drawing on practice theories. The chapter will be interested for those who want to use practice theory, but also those who are interested to theorize. The chapter is available as open access here.
On May 4th I am giving a guest lecture at the Department of Political Science at the University of Bologna. In the lecture I will review the European Union’s approach to maritime security based on a forthcoming paper co-authored with Tim Edmunds. The paper draws on our research on maritime security strategy as well as a talk on the EU’s maritime security strategy I gave last year at the EU Military Committee. Further information and location here.
On April 29th we hosted a gathering of the maritime security community in Ghana to discuss the findings from our AMARIS research project. The summary of the event, written by Felix Mallin and I, is now available here.
On April 27 and 28 two key events of our collective research project AMARIS (Analyzing Maritime Security in Ghana) will take place in Accra. On day one we will have an internal meeting and review the set of current drafts for academic articles and how to drive them to publication. Papers, include a discussion of the problem of inter-agency coordination, the effect of maritime security strategies and on the impact that the concept of maritime security had for governance and organization of the maritime sector in Ghana.
On day two, the AMARIS team will present our key policy insights to the major stakeholders and agencies in Ghana. We will investigate how the maritime threat landscape has been evolving, what the key hurdles are in creating effective maritime security governance, and what best practices can ensure the effective delivery of capacity building. The event is hosted by the Center for Maritime Law and Security Africa one of the member institutions of AMARIS.
The recording of our recent presentation at the Sub-Committe on Security and Defense of the European Parliament is now available to view. In the presentation we discuss how the security of the European subsea data cable infrastructure — critical for the European digital economy. The recording is available here.
From the 25 to 26th of April, Tobias Liebetrau and I will be visiting Brussels to present the key recommendations of our recently completed study on the security of subsea data cable infrastructures in Europe. We will be giving a presentation to the Security and Defense Committee of the European Parliament that commissioned the study.
We will also meet with the team from DG Mare and the External Action service that is drafting the update of the EU Maritime Security Strategy. We will present the results of the study on cables and also the key take away points of another forthcoming study on the EU’s maritime security policy (with Tim Edmunds).
The Indian National Maritime Foundation and the EU project ESIWA (Enhancing Security Cooperation In and With Asia) held an online EU-India seminar on maritime security and UNCLOS on April 11th. The key question addressed was how India and the EU can cooperate better to provide maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. I had the pleasure to chair the second session of the event.
Together with Jan Stockbruegger I have conducted a review of the current security situation in the Western Indian Ocean. We show which insecurities are on the rise and argue that the rise of geopolitical concerns increasingly produces a militarization dilemma: foreign naval forces are needed to address insecurity on the one hand, but they might become a source of insecurity in their own right due to growing tensions on the other. We discuss if and how the current security architecture can cope with the problems, pointing in particular to SHADE and the Contact Group. The study is now available with African Security Review as online first.