Piratical attacks have become more frequent, violent, costly and increasingly threaten to undermine order in the international system. Much attention has focused on Somalia, but piracy is a problem worldwide. Recent coordination efforts among states in South East Asia appear to have helped in the area, but elsewhere piracy has expanded. Interestingly, international law has long recognized piracy as a crime and provided tools for universal suppression, yet piracy persists.
In this book, a handpicked group of leading experts in the field of International Relations use maritime piracy as a means to expose the incongruities in our understanding of global governance. Using broadly constructivist approaches to understand international actors’ responses to the challenges created by maritime piracy, the contributors question a number of myths and misconceptions around piracy and analyze the various ways that international law and organizations channel actors’ understandings of maritime piracy and their efforts to respond to it. In doing so, they expose some shaky foundations for IR theorists: how do we conceive of governance and legitimacy when they are delinked from the territorial aspect of the modern nation-state? What happens to prospects for cooperation when we get to the nitty-gritty questions of practice related to paying for trials, imprisoning and maintaining captured pirates, bearing the burden of policing sea-lanes, or even determining what constitutes a pirate? Does anyone have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force at sea, and how is that legitimacy constructed?
Maritime Piracy and the Construction of Global Governance offers an improved theoretical understanding of the response of the international community to maritime piracy and broadens our understanding of the complex and sometimes countervailing motivations of all the actors involved, from international organizations and states down to the pirates themselves.
"This is an important, timely, and clearly written volume which will be of interest to international relations scholars and international lawyers alike. It contains a welcome breadth of approaches and resists the temptation to package piracy under false analogies or easy labels such as terrorism, armed conflict, or state failure."
—Douglas Guilfoyle, University College London
"At last, a book that effectively leverages international relations theory and international law to understand the challenge posed by maritime piracy to our liberal ideals of global governance. This compelling interdisciplinary collection uses constructivist approaches to explore how international legal regimes and institutions have evolved over time to shape our thinking about maritime piracy, and fashioned our response to the threat. The book is impressive in scope and unique in its studied findings; there is more at stake than you think."
—Commander James Kraska, U.S. Naval War College
1: Constructing Pirates, Piracy, and Governance: An Introduction, Michael Struett and Mark Nance Section 1: Constructions through Law 2: Cicero’s Ghost: Rethinking the Social Construction of Piracy, Harry Gould 3: A Global War on Piracy: International Law and the Use of Force Against Sea Pirates, Eric Heinze 4: Maritime Piracy and the Impunity Gap: Domestic Implementation of International Treaty Provisions, Yvonne Dutton Section 2: Constructions through Institutions 5. Security Communities, Alliances, and Macrosecuritization: The Practices of Counter-Piracy Governance, Christian Bueger and Jan Stockbruegger 6. Conflicting Constructions: Maritime Piracy and Cooperation under Regime Complexes, Mark Nance and Michael Struett 7. Frame, Humanitarianism, and Legitimacy: Explaining the Anti-Piracy Regime in the Gulf of Aden, Kevin McGahan and Terence Lee Section 3: Rethinking the Construction of Global Governance for Maritime Piracy 8. The limit(ation)s of International Society? The English School, Somali Pirates and the burdens of interpretation, Brent Steele 9. Conclusion, Bruce Cronin