In 2022 the RSIS in Singapore launched a small research project attempting to identify the various roles that types of stakeholders, such as navies, the industry or NGOs have. The initiative led by John Bradford, provides a great overview of how diverse these roles are, and how positions and interests differ.
In my contribution to the project, I discuss the role of academics based in university and think tanks. I show that the field of maritime security research has been substantially growing and provide some distinctions for orientation: curiosity vs. policy driven research and objectivist vs. interpretivist analyses. I argue that research can make substantial difference in enhancing practical reflexivity, providing conceptual clarifications, developing models to sort the complexity of maritime security, or identifying gaps and misalignments in responses.