Learning from piracy: future challenges of maritime security governance

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Is the decade of large scale piracy off the coast of Somali over? What are the lessons from Somali piracy for maritime security governance? This article revisits the triggers of piracy and argues for the need of being cautious since the current success in curbing piracy might not be sustainable. I identify six factors that trigger piracy: (1) geography, (2) weak law enforcement and corruption, (3) maritime insecurity, (4) economic dislocation, (5) cultural acceptability and skills and (6) the prevalence of criminal minded entrepreneurs. An analysis of the rise and decline of piracy provides an explanation of why the international measures show success, but document that it is questionable if these will contain piracy in the long run. The measures address two of the factors (law enforcement and cultural acceptability) primarily. Studying the decline of Somali piracy reveals the importance of learning some major lessons for reevaluating the importance and character of maritime security. Future efforts will be necessary to increase the quality and efficiency of maritime security governance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Affairs
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)32-43
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


ID: 203404880