Understanding Contemporary Maritime Piracy

Twyman-Ghoshal, Anamika ORCID: 0000-0003-4076-6687 (2012) Understanding Contemporary Maritime Piracy. PhD thesis, Northeastern University.

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Although the international news media is often filled with reports on maritime piracy, particularly those occurring in Somalia, little research has been done in the field of criminology to understand this crime. To address these issues, the present research employed two complementary research strategies designed to examine the character, magnitude and underlying dynamic of contemporary piracy in the 21st century. To examine the character and magnitude of contemporary piracy this study drew on and merged information from the two primary international data sources on piracy; information collected by the International Maritime Bureau and the United States Office of Naval Intelligence. The merger of these two sources provides the most comprehensive database on piracy incidence currently available from 2001 to 2010, the Contemporary Maritime Piracy Database. This new dataset is used to: examine the cross national and temporal character of contemporary maritime piracy across nine major dimensions, including: 1) the location and source of attacks; 2) the date of attacks; 3) the location at sea; 4) the time of attacks; 5) target vessel characteristics; 6) pirate characteristics; 7) pirate actions; 8) pirate motivation; and 9) responses to piracy. Dimensions three to nine were studied across regions and countries (dimension one) and over the 2001 to 2010 study period (dimension two). This first phase of the research found that piracy in the 21st century changed dramatically, while Somali piracy has become the dominant form of piracy in the world. In particular, the escalation of piracy in Somalia during the study period has affected the aggregate profile of contemporary maritime piracy, because Somali piracy exhibits different characteristics from other forms of contemporary piracy. To examine the underlying dynamics of contemporary piracy, this research employed a case study combined with a historical/policy analysis of Somali piracy because of that nation’s dominating role in the evolution of contemporary piracy. This phase of the research examined the conditions that underlie the emergence and growth of maritime piracy in Somalia, a country without a history of piracy. The case study is guided by an analytic framework based on Nikos Passas’ global anomie theory (2000) augmented with ideas of civic governance. The case study revealed that a set of processes, largely following the pattern articulated by the framework of global anomie theory with extensions suggested by concepts of civic governance, can help explain the origin and emergence of piracy in Somalia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Anamika Twyman Ghoshal
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2022 13:20
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:25
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/11663

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