Criminal tides : a comparative study of contemporary piracy in Somalia and Southeast Asia

Reyskens, Marina Elise Simone (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Maritime piracy is not a new phenomenon. However, the nature, severity and impacts of contemporary piracy have evolved to become a highly-organised, professional and international scourge. This comparative and explanatory study set out to explore questions regarding the how and why of maritime piracy trends in Somali and Southeast Asian waters. This study sought to (a) conceptualise an appropriate definition of maritime piracy; (b) determine the causes and motivations for piracy in these regions; (c) offer insights as to the most effective ways of combating piracy; (d) investigate the various impacts and effects of piracy; and (e) discussing the significance of international responses to this phenomenon. In pursuing the above-mentioned goals this study offered a comparison of correlating trends and differences between these two regions. This study attributed the underlying motivations to two chief factors: namely, state failure and instability, as well as socio-economic factors. These two factors, along with several additional contributing factors, effectively established piracy’s main causes. The general findings of this study concluded that contemporary piracy cannot be understood without a thorough understanding of a combination of various factors. It was also argued that although the alleged link between piracy and terrorism remains speculative, piracy could have the ability to facilitate international terrorism. The nature of contemporary piracy in Somalia and Southeast Asia was examined, as well as a discussion of the most significant pirate attacks in these regions. This study established that the nature of Somali and Southeast Asian piracy display various similarities, as well as differences. Together with explanations accounting for decreases and increases in pirate attacks, it emerged that an increase in violence and sophistication of piracy is apparent. By highlighting how contemporary piracy has become both a regional and international security threat, this study brought forward arguments that showed how piracy negatively affects regional stability, as well as exacerbating poverty. Furthermore, this study found that the impacts of piracy are far-reaching and therefore require international and regional collaborative responses. Regarding solutions to piracy, emphasis was placed on including domestic, regional and international approaches. Moreover, this study argued that overlooking the internal problems on-land only serve to worsen the piracy situation in Somalia and Southeast Asia.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Seerowery is nie ‘n nuwe fenomeen nie. Die aard, erns en impak van hedendaagse seerowery het wel in ’n hoogs-georganiseerde, professionele en internasionale plaag ontwikkel. Hierdie vergelykende en beskrywende studie poog om die vrae rondom hoe en hoekom seerowery in die Somaliese en Suidoos-Asiese waters plaasvind. Die doel van hierdie studie was, om: (a) seerowery te konseptualiseer, (b) die oorsake en motivering(s) vir seerowery in spesifieke streke te bestudeer; en (c) die internasionale reaksie tot hierdie verskynsel te bespreek. Met die doel om die bogenoemde vrae te beantwoord verskaf hierdie studie ’n vergelyking van ooreenkomstige tendense en verskille tussen die twee gebiede. Hierdie studie skryf die onderliggende motiverings toe aan twee hoof faktore: naamlik, staatsmislukking en –onstabiliteit, en tweedens sosio-ekonomiese faktore. Daar is ook ’n paar aanvullende bydraende faktore wat kortliks bespreek word. Hierdie studie bevind dat hedendaagse seerowery nie volledig verstaan kan word sonder ’n begrip van verskeie faktore, wat in hierdie studie beskryf word, nie. Hierdie studie bevind ook dat alhoewel die beweerde verband tussen seerowery en terrorisme onseker is, dat seerowery wel die potensiaal besit om internasionale terrorisme te fasiliteer. Die aard van hedendaagse seerowery in Somalië en Suidoos-Asië is ondersoek, tesame met ’n bespreking van die mees beduidende seerower aanvalle in die gebiede. Hierdie studie wys dat die aard van Somaliese en Suidoos-Asiese seerowery vele ooreenkomste sowel as verskille bevat. Tesame met verduidelikings oor die afname en toename in seerower aanvalle verskaf hierdie studie ook ’n beskrywing van die toename in die gesofistikeerdheid van die hedendaagse seerowers. Die studie het ook klem op die feit gelê dat hedendaagse seerowery beide ’n streeks- asook ’n internasionale sekuriteits gevaar is. Dus het seerowery ’n breë en vêrreikende impak, en vereis internasionale en streeklikse samewerking om teenkamping te loods. Daar word ook bevind dat ’n versuiming om na interne probleme in Somalië en Suidoos-Asië kan dien as ’n versterking tot die seerowery verskynsel.

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