Sunday, October 25, 2009

Books on Piracy and Maritime Security in Asia

Maritime security is increasingly an area of concern for Southeast Asian nations, with piracy in particular threatening the economic growth of an area that is hugely dependent on sea-borne trade. Here are some recent books dealing with this issue:
  • Maritime Counter-Terrorism: A Pan-Asian Perspective edited by Swati Parashar. These 21 separately referenced specialist papers are from the 2004 New Delhi workshop of the Observer Foundation and address the measures taken by Asian nations to deal with maritime piracy and terrorism. The grouped papers explore: the vulnerabilities and capabilities of military, air and police forces; threat perceptions in South Asia, in Southeast Asia, and in Australia and East Asia; actors to watch in maritime piracy, armed robbery and in political groups, including the Tamil Tigers; the final section offers critical evaluations of the efforts and dynamics of ongoing maritime counter-terrorism.
  • Contemporary Maritime Piracy in Southeast Asia: History, Causes and Remedies by Adam J. Young. This book explores contemporary maritime piracy in Southeast Asia, demonstrating the utility of using historical context in developing policy approaches that will address the roots of this resurgent phenomenon. The depth and breadth of historical piracy help highlight causative factors of contemporary piracy, which are immersed in the socio-cultural matrix of maritime-oriented peoples to whom piracy is still a thinkable option. The threats to life and property posed by piracy are relatively low, but significant given the strategic nature of these waterways that link the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and because piracy is emblematic of broader issues of weak state control in the littoral states of the region. Maritime piracy will never be completely eliminated, but with a progressive economic and political agenda aimed at changing the environment from which piracy is emerging, it could once again become the exception rather than the rule. With glossary of selected terms, bibliography and index.
  • Maritime Security in Southeast Asia edited by Kwa, Chong Guan and John K Skogan. This book examines maritime security challenges in Southeast Asia and the responses that they provoke. Maritime security is an issue that has, over the last 20 years, taken on a much greater importance, due to the Law of the Sea Convention, which has resulted in the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). As well as traditional security threats to maritime security, there has also emerged a range of non-traditional threats, such as piracy and international terrorism, which spill over into the maritime domain. Events such as September 11 and the designation of Southeast Asia as a 'second front' in the war against terrorism, have resulted in the growing realisation that multilateral security cooperation is required in order to manage the security of the seas. Expert contributors, including many from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, identify the nature of Southeast Asia's maritime security problem. They also critically evaluate the various responses by countries and organisations within and without the region. With bibliography and index.
  • Piracy, Maritime Terrorism And Securing The Malacca Straits edited by Ong-Webb and Graham Gerard. Maritime piracy continues to persist as a significant phenomenon manifesting a range of social, historical, geo-political, security and economic issues. Today, the waters of Southeast Asia serve as the dominant region for the occurrence of piracy and the challenges it poses to regional security and Malacca Straits security. As a second installment within the Series on Maritime Issues and Piracy in Asia by the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, the authors of this volume add fresh perspectives to the ongoing debate about piracy, the threat of maritime terrorism, and the challenge of securing the Malacca Straits today. This volume of expert contributions opens with a global and regional outlook on maritime terrorism before proceeding to examine: the transnational threats to security at sea; piracy in the waters of the Philippines; the similarities and differences between the security situation in the Malacca Straits and in the Southern Philippines; the politics of security policies in Southeast Asia; anti-piracy security forces; the rise of important new seaports in Asia; the Regime Navigation on the Danube as a possible model; security cooperation within Asean; and maritime history in the region, 1511-1839.
  • Realising Safe and Secure Seas For All: International Maritime Security Conference 2009 edited by Joshua, Ho. This volume is a compilation of the proceedings arising from the inaugural International Maritime Security Conference 2009 held on 13-14 May 2009 in Singapore. The conference sought to promote global maritime safety and security and to update maritime practitioners on the latest cooperative efforts and technological developments in the maritime domain. Senior naval officers and officials from Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States and the International Maritime Organisation presented at the conference, and their papers are included in this volume.
  • Sea Pirates by S.S. Narayan. Narayan provides a detailed description about sea pirates from the ancient periods to the present. Chapter titles include History of Piracy; Flags and Weapons of the Sea Pirates; Sea Piracy in Somalia; Renaissance Trade Routes; and Pirate Punishment. With bibliography and index.

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