Prospects for Cooperation
- NUS Centre for International Law series
Edited by Robert Beckman and J. Ashley Roach
Chapter 3: Controlling piracy in Southeast Asia – thinking outside the box
At a basic level, piracy (like all crimes) is caused by illicit opportunity structures, motivations to take advantage of such opportunities and social control weaknesses, all of which are affected by the globalization processes. Therefore piracy control strategists would do well to focus on these processes – which not only create attractive targets but have also aggravated disparities between societies and peoples – and on the protection of vulnerable locations through efforts to improve governance. Governance is understood broadly as the set of norms, processes and institutions through which diverse interests emerge, are articulated and acted out, and through which conflicts of interests are addressed or resolved in a given social group or community. The most common contributing factor suggested in the literature on piracy is opportunity. The concept of opportunity refers to several elements, ranging from favorable geography (for example, narrow waterways and the availability of hideouts), busy shipping routes with convenient and plentiful targets, to limited control capacity, access to weapons, as well as legal and jurisdictional weaknesses.
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