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Dr. Brandon C. Prins Department of Political Science University of Tennessee-Knoxville The Continuing Threat of Maritime Piracy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Brandon C. Prins Department of Political Science University of Tennessee-Knoxville The Continuing Threat of Maritime Piracy in Sub-Saharan Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Brandon C. Prins Department of Political Science University of Tennessee-Knoxville The Continuing Threat of Maritime Piracy in Sub-Saharan Africa

2 Drivers of Maritime Piracy Institutional Fragility Relative Deprivation/Grievance Geographical Conditions Opportunity Loss-of-Strength Gradient 1

3 Studies of Maritime Piracy CorrelateCitationsPossible mechanisms Fragility Hastings 2009; De Groot et al. 2011; Coggins 2012; Shortland & Percy 2012; Prins & Daxecker 2013 Institutional weakness enables pirate organizations to organize and act. Weak governments have difficulty enforcing order Relative Deprivation Jablonksi & Oliver 2013; Prins & Daxecker 2013 Poverty and or joblessness provide the demand for piracy. Potential pirates sensitive to profits in labor market Geography Hastings 2009; Prins & Daxecker 2013 Long coastlines offer pirates geographical space to evade law enforcement OpportunityMarchione & Johnson 2013 Merchant ship traffic offers targets to pirates. 2

4 Describing Piracy Sub-Saharan African PiracyGlobal Piracy Heat Map 3

5 Trends in Sub-Saharan African Piracy 4 Somali piracy drove global counts higher beginning in still represents height of global piracy due to attacks off Indonesia Somali piracy has dropped dramatically since 2011 Nigerian piracy has increased Piracy Counts in 9 Sub-Saharan African Countries

6 Piracy in 9 Sub-Saharan African Countries 5 These 9 countries are the most piracy-prone in Sub-Saharan Africa Globally, countries in South and South East Asia experience considerable piracy Somali piracy has dropped significantly, but so far at least 7 incidents through May 8, Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has increased and so too has the violence associated with Nigerian piracy

7 Status of Vessels when Attacked 6 Comparison of piracy in 9 Sub-Saharan countries with all other piracy-prone states Temporal comparison using and then In non-Sub-Saharan African countries there is little difference in status of attacked vessels across time But the percentage of ships attacked while steaming has increased substantially in Sub- Saharan African countries Driven mostly by Somali piracy, but also by Guinea Gulf piracy Sophistication of pirates

8 Violence of Piracy 7 Violence associated with Sub-Saharan African piracy is greater than other piracy-prone regions – more hijackings and more ships are fired upon Somalia obviously an outlier Nigerian piracy may have fewer hijackings but weapons are involved in more of the attacks

9 Success Rate of Pirate Attacks 8 Success rate of pirate attacks has not changed much in non-Sub- Saharan African countries from to The success rate of pirate attacks has dropped substantially in Sub-Saharan Africa from to This is not just driven by Somalia but is also true of Guinea Gulf piracy as well

10 Violence Comparisons 9 Violence has surged in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade Maritime piracy represents only a small subset of the violence observed. Extensive political, social, and terrorist violence occurs in these countries

11 Correlates of Maritime Piracy 10 Minerva project explores the drivers of maritime piracy Government weakness, economic grievance, geographic conditions and opportunity all associate with piracy These drivers of piracy tend to be strong in Sub-Saharan African countries Governments are weak (SFI Score, but can also use extractive capacity as measure) Countries are poor with large numbers of unemployed young men Large populations provide ample recruits Pirates can evade security forces with ease it appears

12 Correlates of Maritime Piracy State WeaknessEconomic Deprivation 11

13 Power Projection and Piracy Figures show that the effect of state weakness on piracy increases with increasing distance between capital and coastline Weak states cannot project power over territory effectively and so pirates strategically locate themselves outside of a government’s political reach 12

14 Distance to Piracy from Capital Cities Piracy Data Source: IMB Distance (Kilometers) Strong States Weaker States Failed States Least Corrupt (Top 3 rd ) Partially Corrupt (middle 3 rd ) Most Corrupt (Bottom 3 rd ) We see that as state strength increases, piracy moves farther away from capital cities. The same relationship occurs with a measure of government corruption. 13

15 Focus on Nigeria 14 The map shows geo-coded piracy data, geo- coded armed conflict data, and geo-coded terrorist attacks There may be a connection between armed insurgency and maritime piracy and or terrorism and piracy. We have looked at the temporal relationship between armed conflict and piracy and find that piracy does appear to increase in the year after armed conflicts Piracy may help fund insurgent and terrorist movements in some countries Armed Conflict, Terrorism and Piracy in Nigeria, (Blue Dots = Armed Conflict; Red Dots = Terrorist Attacks; Green Dots = Piracy Incidents)

16 More micro-analyses may help with prediction 15 Weather patterns affect piracy in certain countries Monsoon winds drive piracy down in Greater Gulf of Aden, especially summer monsoon Increases in rainfall during summer months in Gulf of Guinea have similar, but weaker effect for Nigerian piracy

17 Economic Drivers of Piracy 16 We look at the relationship between crude oil production and price of sugar as indicators for the strength of the legal economy in Nigeria. As crude production increases and as the price of sugar increases, workers should gravitate towards the legal economy and away from piracy We find a weak by negative relationship between both crude production and sugar price and piracy for Unsure how robust this finding is. Compare to value of fish catch off Somalia

18 Global Piracy and Predictions Country2014 Risk Predictio n 2013 Piracy Count SomaliaHigh7 NigeriaHigh31 TogoModerate7 Ivory CoastModerate4 GhanaModerate1 GuineaHigh1 CameroonModerate0 DRCHigh0 TanzaniaHigh1 The figure below shows true global piracy counts by year (spikes) and our model prediction (dashed line). Our model predicts 248 piracy incidents in Currently IMB reports approximately Red = High Risk Orange = Moderate Risk Yellow = Low Risk

19 Overall Objectives of Minerva Research Project Build a theoretical model of maritime piracy Existing research concentrates on state fragility and economic deprivation as drivers of piracy We theorize that the effects of both factors are conditioned by distance (loss of strength gradient, which is defined as the ability of governments to enforce order over distance) Our project will explore distance from several different angles Geographic Economic Cultural Operationalize loss of strength gradient We need measures of critical factors affecting maritime piracy (fragility, deprivation, distance) Geo-code all piracy incidents Reconcile the various datasets that currently exist on maritime piracy Build Database on Pirate Organizations in 4 or 5 countries Use theoretical model to build country-level & sub-national (for several countries) risk indices Forecast piracy events at the country and sub-country levels of analysis Build a web-based portal to access data and map piracy incidents 18

20 Research Questions Is the relationship between state strength and maritime piracy conditional on power projection? Is the distance between regime power centers and piracy incidents influenced by regime strength? Are piracy events spatially and temporally correlated and if so can we use this information to forecast piracy into the future? Does political conflict within countries exacerbate piracy or correlate with piracy? Do insurgent and or terrorist groups use piracy as a funding arm? 19

21 Collaborators Ursula Daxecker, University of Amsterdam Amanda Sanford, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Sam Ghatak, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Brandon C. Prins, University of Tennessee-Knoxville 20


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