Experimenting with Global Governance: Learning Lessons in the Contact Group on Piracy

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We tend to think of pirates as an ancient menace or the characters of romantic Hollywood dramas. But today, piracy is a serious scourge for mariners around the world. The most pressing problem for many years has been piracy off the coast of Somalia. Pirates hijacked hundreds of vessels and turned the Gulf of Aden into one of the most dangerous waterways in the world. By 2015 the problem had been more or less under control thanks to the substantial efforts of international actors. Naval missions, arrest, surveillance and capacity-building programmes in the Eastern African region have all contributed to a decline of piracy (Bueger 2015a). When Somali piracy escalated from 2008 the problem gave birth to an expanding field of international counter-piracy governance coordinating these activities (Bueger 2013). This field of international governance has become an interesting site of experimentation. International actors have tried out various means which are rather unconventional in a world political context. Examples include coordination through new types of informal fora, the innovative use of communication technology for coordination, or the harmonization of arrest, transfer and prosecution policies through legal tool kits (Tardy 2014). These innovations led to a fairly unique and harmonized international response to Somali piracy at the heart of which is an informal global governance mechanism, the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowing Governance
EditorsJan-Peter Voß, Richard Freeman
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date2016
Article numberChapter 4
ISBN (Print)9781349564767
ISBN (Electronic)9781137514509
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
SeriesPalgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Knowledge production, Security Council, Global Governance, Policy Experiment, Policy Laboratory

ID: 208974315