Issues, Challenges and National Policies
- Comparative Perspectives on Transportation Security series
Edited by Khalid Bichou, Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Luca Zamparini
The concept of maritime security has changed dramatically over the years. For centuries it was limited to the ability of a state to project naval power to protect its interests, usually during times of inter-state conflict with occasional forays against pirates and smugglers. In recent decades, however, maritime security has expanded to encompass a new threat - terrorism - as well as enhanced traditional threats such as smuggling and piracy. Thus, maritime security now involves the protection of a state's land and maritime territory and assets from all potentially harmful acts that can emanate from the seas. These may be the outcome of illegal fishing, people smuggling, illicit trafficking in drugs and weapons, piracy, terrorism and intentional and unlawful environmental damage. The damage caused by such acts may not only be economic but also environmental and/or societal (implying the loss of several or many lives). And, modern terrorists and pirates have at their disposal deadlier weapons than ever before. The present chapter aims to provide a general overview of the main phenomena that have had a momentous impact on maritime security in the last decades. Section 2.2 discusses the various facets of the relationships between technology and security; the increased globalization, container-based transport, destructiveness and (social and physical) distance. In Section 2.3 an analysis of piracy, in its various forms, is developed. Moreover, the impact of a terrorist attack on a port as a main hub of international trade is discussed.
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