Legal Challenges and Responses
Edited by Douglas Guilfoyle
Chapter 5: Responses to contemporary piracy: disentangling the organizational field
The problem of contemporary piracy has led to the rise of a complex organizational field. A myriad of governmental and non-governmental actors, UN agencies and international organizations have become active in counter-piracy. This chapter sets out to disentangle the field of counter-piracy. The objective is to present a systematic overview of the different actors engaged in counter-piracy and the forums in which activities are organized and coordinated. The question that this chapter seeks to answer is hence straightforward: which actors do what and where in counter-piracy? I address this question by providing a mapping of counter-piracy practice. The mapping is organized along a functional axis: counter-piracy activities can be captured in the way they contribute to different functional streams or categories of practice. These streams include governance, epistemic, military, law enforcement, development and humanitarian practices. While attempting to be comprehensive, my focus is on the main actors and I do not consider unilateral or bilateral initiatives unless they have significantly shaped the international counter- piracy field. Such a mapping is useful in several regards. It has become very difficult to navigate through the increasingly complex and rapidly developing organizational jungle of counter-piracy. This is especially the case for practitioners new to the field. Coordinating the diverse counter-piracy actors is an ongoing challenge not the least to avoid contradictory projects, and duplication. It is also important to guarantee a better management of knowledge about piracy and counter-piracy and to ensure that lessons learned by one agency are recognized and considered by another.
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