What is maritime security?

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Maritime security is one of the latest buzzwords of international relations. Major actors have started to include maritime security in their mandate or reframed their work in such terms. Maritime security is a term that draws attention to new challenges and rallies support for tackling these. Yet, no international consensus over the definition of maritime security has emerged. Buzzwords allow for the international coordination of actions, in the absence of consensus. These, however, also face the constant risk that disagreements and political conflict are camouflaged. Since there are little prospects of defining maritime security once and for all, frameworks by which one can identify commonalities and disagreements are needed. This article proposes three of such frameworks. Maritime security can first be understood in a matrix of its relation to other concepts, such as marine safety, seapower, blue economy and resilience. Second, the securitization framework allows to study how maritime threats are made and which divergent political claims these entail in order to uncover political interests and divergent ideologies. Third, security practice theory enables the study of what actors actually do when they claim to enhance maritime security. Together these frameworks allow for the mapping of maritime security.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Policy
Issue numberMarch
Pages (from-to)159-164
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Maritime security, Maritime threats, Securitization, Security practice, Concepts

ID: 200875793