Somali Piracy : A Criminological Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Somali Piracy
A Criminological Perspective

ISBN 9780815391968
Published May 31, 2018 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

Maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia was first recognised as a global concern in 2008 after the hijackings of World Food Programme vessels. It remains a serious impediment to international maritime trade and a significant risk to seafarers. Bringing a criminological perspective to the subject, this book presents an analysis of Somali piracy by means of Routine Activity Theory and regulatory pluralism. Based on data from a range of sources, including published documents and in-depth interviews with representatives of industry, government, and international organisations, the study concludes that no one institution or policy will suffice to control Somali piracy. Accordingly, a number of different actors and institutions have a role to play in reducing the supply of motivated offenders, the vulnerability of prospective victims, and in enhancing guardianship. The book envisages a holistic counter-piracy program based on a pluralistic regulatory model that is sustainable within the region, and managed by the region, providing the best opportunity for both the immediate future, and for long-term success. This study will be essential reading for criminologists, public policy and legal scholars, as well as policy makers and regulators in countries affected by and dealing with piracy, and international professional advocacy groups operating in the maritime space.

Table of Contents

Part I Introducing Somali Piracy: Introduction; Historical preface: a brief history of global piracy; The contemporary context of Somali piracy. Part II Onset: What creates a motivated offender? Part III Persistence: What creates a suitable target? Part IV Desistance: Are there capable guardians regulating against Somali piracy?; Prosecution and incarceration. Part V Data Analysis and Interpretation: Can routine activity theory explain Somali piracy? Part VI Prevention and Deterrence Measures to Control Somali Piracy: What is the most appropriate institutional configuration for the effective control of Somali piracy?; Strengthening the response: viewing Somali piracy through a holistic lens; The enduring challenge of Somali piracy. Index.

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Jade Lindley is a graduate of the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University and Research Associate of the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security. Her research interests are in the areas of transnational organized crime and international law.


"Piracy has plagued maritime trade for centuries. The most recent manifestation of this age-old problem may be seen in the waters off the Horn of Africa. Dr Lindley's thorough and lucid discussion of Somali piracy shows that there is no one simple solution. Rather, the prevention and control of piracy depends upon a variety of actors and institutions from both public and private sectors, national and international. Restoration of a functioning Somali state, careful application of military force, and appropriate precautions by maritime and related industries all have a role to play. This book is a must read for development specialists, international security scholars, military officials, and maritime industry professionals alike."Peter Grabosky, Australian National University, Australia

"Somali piracy attacks by 2014 had fallen to less than one twentieth of their level in 2010. Perceptive use of criminological theory is needed to explain dramatic reductions in crime. Jade Lindley provides this with her revealing analysis of the rise and fall of Somali piracy. A holistic suite of routine activities seems to have helped, especially guardians becoming more capable. Through a network of plural governance strategies, it seems possible to reduce opportunities to attack low and slow vessels that are soft targets for pirates. This is a distinctive and instructive contribution to criminological knowledge." - John Braithwaite, Australian National University, Australia 

"I learned a lot from this work. Lindley's book on piracy is one of the best yet. It is well conceptualized and thoroughly explored. It is logical, well-explained, and well-written. Her results are clearly and precisely laid out. This is a master work in exposition. The findings are important for the many countries and commercial interests affected by the issue." - John Dombrink, University of California, Irvine, USA