Christian Bueger


At UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon

This week I am attending the UN Ocean Conference. These type of conferences are increasingly important in ocean governance, and it will be an exciting opportunity to learn more about how such events unfold, and if and how they have an impact on global ocean governance.
As part of the conference we are also hosting together with the Atlantic Center of the Portuguese Ministry of Defense and the Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria) an expert workshop on subsea data cable protection. The workshop is part of our DACANE project and will reflect on the insights gained in our recent study on data cables for the European Parliament.

We are also co-hosting a public panel, which is part of the UN Ocean Conference Programme. In the public event we will explore the relation between marine infrastructure protection and marine conservation. The panel is opened by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Defence, Marco Capitão Ferreira, as well as Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. It is chaired by Martin Koehring, Head, World Ocean Initiative, Economist Impact and features Steve Dawe, Chairman European Subsea Cable Association, Kaitlin Meredith, UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme, Philippe Dumont, CEO EllaLink, Leendert Bal, Head of Safety, Security and Surveillance Department, European Maritime Safety Agency and myself.


Workshop on Japan-EU relations

On the 15th of June, I had the pleasure to attend the workshop “Japan and Europe in a contested world”, held at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. At the workshop I was introducing our research on the consequences of the Indo-Pacific narrative for the EU and Japan and the dangers of maritime militarization dynamics.


Study on Subsea Data Cable Infrastructures in the EU published

Our study for the European Parliament on the vulnerabilities of the EU’s subsea data cable infrastructures is now published. The report is available here. It analyses the state of the EU cable system, identifies threat scenarios, and lays out a series of recommendations of how the EU and its member states can enhance resilience. Here is the abstract:

The EU’s subsea data cable network is both vital for global connectivity and vulnerable. This study provides a systematic review of the current security threats, as well as the actors at the origin of these threats. Building on reports and expert input, the paper takes stock of current awareness, preparedness and response mechanisms, both at the EU and Member State level. A number of recommendations suggest how to improve the resilience of the cable network. Proposals build on the need to enhance EU-wide awareness, improve coordination and share information across EU institutions and Member States. In addition, surveillance capabilities must be advanced, response and repair mechanisms strengthened, and the topic mainstreamed across external action.


SafeSeas Workshop on maritime security in the United Kingdom

Following up on our work with the UK government on refreshing the maritime security strategy, SafeSeas is organizing a one day workshop discussing the challenges linked to implementing the strategy. The workshop is organized by Tim Edmunds and in collaboration with the Department of Transport. The event will bring together key representatives of the UK maritime security community.


Cyber Diplomacy Workshop in Bologna

On June 6th, I am attending the CyDiplo Workshop “Diversifying Cyber Diplomacy”, organized by the University of Bologna. At the workshop I will be giving a talk on the importance of including the material dimension in the agenda, and will investigate how subsea data cables matter for cyber diplomacy and cyber security. I draw on research conducted jointly with Tobias Liebetrau as part of our project on ocean infrastructures.


Talk at TU Darmstadt

On the 16.5. I had the pleasure to give a talk at the Institute for Political Science, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany. In my talking I was introducing the key arguments of a work in progress article written with Scott Edwards (Bristol) and Maren Hofius (Hamburg). The article revisits the community of practice framework as an approach to global ordering. We argue that the interaction between communities of practice in global politics should receive more focus. The discussion revolved around the benefits of the communities of practice approach compared to other frameworks for studying ordering, but also how to actually theorize with and from practices.


New podcast on maritime security, militarization and the Western Indian Ocean

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.


Keynote address at Seapower Conference in Australia

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.


How to theorize practice – New book chapter

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.


Talk at University of Bologna

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.