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Piracy studies: academic responses to the return of an ancient menace

Bueger, Christian ORCID: 2014. Piracy studies: academic responses to the return of an ancient menace. Cooperation and Conflict 49 (3) , pp. 406-416. 10.1177/0010836713484117

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In the last decade maritime piracy has become recognized as a pressing global problem. Together with the problem the new inter-disciplinary project of piracy studies has emerged. In this article I review the state of knowledge and the character of piracy studies. I present two arguments. Firstly, I review recent contributions and suggest that piracy studies is organized in three pillars. The first pillar studies the phenomenon of piratical practice and organization, the second the various organizational responses to it, and the third historicizes and theorizes piracy and the response to it. For each of these pillars I outline future challenges. Secondly, I argue to understand piracy studies, following John Dewey as a ‘community of inquiry’, that is, a community of researchers interested in translating violence and crime at sea into distinct problems that can be mastered. Although researchers rely on different scientific methods as well as divergent problematizations, piracy studies is an inter-disciplinary project that combines abstract and critical stances with immediate practical policy relevance. Far from being a niche project, piracy studies is representative of an innovative mode of knowledge production. Hence, there are larger lessons to be drawn from piracy studies, namely how knowledge generation can be organized to address a contemporary problem.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0010-8367
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:29

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