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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:After piracy? Mapping the means and ends of maritime predation in the Western Indian Ocean
Author:Dua, JatinISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic terms:Somalia
Indian Ocean
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2015.1092281
Abstract:From 2008 to 2012, a dramatic upsurge in maritime piracy in the Western Indian Ocean captivated global attention and led to the development of robust counter-piracy measures, including the deployment of navies, legal prosecutions, and the use of armed guards on merchant ships transiting through the region. By the end of 2012, incidents of maritime piracy, successful or otherwise, plummeted by over 80% leading many to cautiously declare an end to the Somali piracy cycle. The rise and fall of piracy is primarily seen as an indicator highlighting the strength or weakness of global governance mechanisms at sea or the stability and reach of the central government on land in Somalia. While issues of governance at sea and on land are key factors in explaining the ebb and flow of this practice in the Western Indian Ocean, this article focuses on the particular structure of Somali piracy as a kidnap and ransom economy in order to account for its rise and fall. Framed within a language of work and entrepreneurship, piracy was enabled through systems of risk pooling and credit networks that both allowed for its spectacular expansion and ultimately led to its decline. Emphasizing the framing of piracy as a form of work also ties this practice simultaneously to longer histories of predation in oceanic domains from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, and territorializes it within a wider Somali trans-regional economy in ways that befuddle distinctions between legal and illegal, public and private, formal and informal. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]