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Piracy and Maritime Security

Counter Piracy Operations, courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence /flickr
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The boarding team from Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth is silhouetted during maritime approach and assist operations in the Arabian Gulf.

What causes maritime piracy and why does it occur where it does? While it is true that piracy thrives under conditions of economic deprivation, state failure and general disorder, as in the case of Somalia, there are also instances when it depends on a degree of security and informal governance that truly anarchic circumstances cannot provide. Regardless of the environment, however, counter-piracy efforts in Southeast Asia and the recent upsurge of ocean-born crime in the Gulf of Guinea confirm that piracy remains a complex challenge that must be addressed with effective governance and regionally-based approaches.

Is Piracy Eradicated?

14 Apr 2014 / Article

What are the root causes of maritime piracy and how should they be addressed? For James Kraska, the Janus-faced answer is simple – the absence of the rule of law and the failure of land-based governance provide the ideal conditions for organized crime at sea. More on «Is Piracy Eradicated?»

Maritime Piracy: A Chronic but Manageable Threat

15 Apr 2014 / Article

Are fragile states and bad governance responsible for maritime piracy? On the contrary, argues Bridget Coggins. Pirates also benefit from stable governments that provide easy access to corrupt officials and a steady stream of high value targets. More on «Maritime Piracy: A Chronic but Manageable Threat»

Explaining the Economic Geography of Somali Piracy

16 Apr 2014 / Article

Why have some parts of the Somali coastline become havens for maritime piracy while other areas want nothing to do with it? For Anja Shortland, the evidence is clear – a lack of infrastructure and economic development can make piracy more profitable than ‘legitimate’ forms of trade. More on «Explaining the Economic Geography of Somali Piracy»

Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea: Assessing the Threats, Preparing the Response

17 Apr 2014 / Article

Why has the Gulf of Guinea replaced the Horn of Africa as the global center for maritime piracy? According to experts convened by the International Peace Institute, the reasons include economic deprivation, poor governance, pollution, poor natural resources management, and the ongoing crisis in the Sahel region. More on «Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea: Assessing the Threats, Preparing the Response»

Countering Maritime Piracy and Robbery in Southeast Asia

18 Apr 2014 / Article

What explains the decade-long decline in maritime piracy and robbery in Southeast Asia? Miha Hribernik argues that regional cooperation – primarily through the ReCAAP mechanism – has been a key factor, which will become even more important with the added participation of Malaysia and Indonesia. More on «Countering Maritime Piracy and Robbery in Southeast Asia»

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