Christian Bueger

Counter-Piracy Week of CGPCS in Dubai

The 17th plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and its working group meetings will take place in Dubai from the 26th to the 28th of October. At the plenary I will give a short talk that provides an overview over the key results of the Lessons Learned Project on the group. The future of the CGPCS and the current counter-piracy architecture will be a key issue on the agenda, as will be questions such as how to improve capacity building coordination, how to re-shape the High Risk Area and to ensure high alert of the shipping community. The meeting will be followed by the high level conference “Securing State Recovery: Sustaining Momentum at Sea, Confronting Instability on Land” during which I will be moderating the plenary panel on “Lessons Learned from Maritime Piracy in the Horn of
Africa and a Framework for Future Cooperation”.

Book on International Practice Theory published

IPT bookThe book International Practice Theory: New Perspectives has now been published. It is co-authored with Frank Gadinger. Together we discuss what practice theory is, how it fits into international relations theory and explore core approaches and challenges with a particular emphasis on methodology. Here’s the official blurb

International Practice Theory has become one of the core perspectives in International Relations. Since the practice turn, there has been significant interest in developing new theories and methodologies for understanding world politics and global governance. This unique study reviews these new approaches, offering a focused discussion of the strategies, techniques and issues. Examining how International Practice Theory is linked to social theory and international relations theory, Bueger and Gadinger explore Bourdieu’s praxeology, the community of practice approach, narrative approaches, Actor-Network Theory and Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology to address core questions of transformation, scale, normativity and materiality. Advocating greater attention to translating International Practice Theory into empirical research, this book will be a valuable resource for all those interested in social theory, practice theory and the international.

A preview of the book is available here. 


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Research Seminar: “Bursts! Theoretical Fashions in the Study of International Relations” in Copenhagen

cast logoOn Wednesday, 8/10/2014 we will discuss the paper titled “Bursts! Theoretical Fashions in the Study of International Relations – A Bibliometric Analysis” at a Research Seminar of the Center for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) which I coauthored with Felix Bethke (Universität Duisburg-Essen).

In the seminar we aim at discussion the following: What are the drivers of scientific progress and intellectual innovation? Usually we peer to the philosophy of science and seek some sort of rational and logical answer to this question and argue that somehow we move closer to the truth. But scientists are humans, too. And perhaps even very social ones. Relying on an understanding of science as a social practice, we argue in this paper that scientists love fashion. We take International Relations as an example and show that the progress and evolution of this discipline can be read as a sequence of fashions. We draw on the results of a burst detection analysis. Understanding researchers as fashionistas, not only challenges some conventional wisdom about how science works, but raises a set of questions, such as, whether we are working in more fast-paced and complex disciplinary environments.

For registration- or more information about CAST Research Seminars, go to events. Contact me by email to receive a copy of the draft paper.

Workshop on Maritime Security Studies in Copenhagen

DSC_0069From the 23rd to the 24th of September we met in Copenhagen to discuss the contours of maritime security studies, different theoretical perspectives on the maritime dimension of security as well as a range of regional arenas. The workshop was a first step to a book manuscript that reviews the challenges of maritime security and how academia can contribute to addressing them. The workshop was hosted by the Centre of Military Studies, Copenhagen University and featured a visit to the Danish Naval Academy and a tour on a Diana class patrol vessel. Participants in the project include Jeremy Black (Exeter), Douglas Guilfoyle (UCL), Carolin Liss (PRIF), Christian Wirth (Griffith), Francois Vrey (Stellenbosch), Thomas Horn Rasmussen, Stale Ulriksen, Basil Germond (Lancaster), Aaron Casavant, Geoffrey Till (King’s), Johannes Kidmose and Lars Bangert Struwe.

At the workshop I presented my paper titled “What is Maritime Security”. In the paper I argue to understand maritime security as a “buzzword”. This implies that to some degree everyone can agree on the importance of maritime security, but on the other side, the concept also hides controversies. Arguing that striving for a universal definition of maritime security is a useless project, I outline three different theoretical strategies to grasp the meaning of maritime security. The first is based on semiotics and explores the relations of maritime security to other concepts such as seapower, marine safety, blue economy or resilience. The second is based on the securitization framework and studies how different issues are made part of the maritime security agenda. The third is based on practice theory and asks what actors do in the name of maritime security. Please contact me to receive a copy of the draft.


Lecture Series on Knowledge Production in Copenhagen

From the mid of September to October I will be giving a series of lectures in the module Knowledge Production and Evaluation of the newly launched MSc Programme in Security Risk Management at the University of Copenhagen. In the lectures I intend to explore a number of key categories of knowledge production, starting from different  concepts of epistemic practices, epistemic spaces and devices, to actor-network theory as an approach to the study of knowledge production and controversies and a detailed investigation of quantification and big data. The lectures are related to my forthcoming article on the epistemic practices of piracy and ongoing work on the epistemic dimension of global governance which is part of my current case study on the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.


Workshop on International Practice Theory

DSC_0034In a workshop titled “At the Boundaries of International Practice Theory: Norms, Pragmatism & Performativity”, from 11-12.9.2014 organized by our project at Cardiff University we discussed the frontiers of International Practice Theory (IPT) and the relations and boundaries to a range of research perspectives which share many of the concerns of IPT.

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In the Field: What’s the Future of DCoC?

DCoCYesterday I met with representatives from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to discuss the future of counter-piracy and lessons learned from it. A core issue was the  IMO-run Djibouti Code of Conduct Process (DCoC). DCoC is one of the major responses to Somali piracy that conducts capacity building in the region in order to ensure the building of institutions that can prevent a long term solution to piracy. The management of DCoC will be re-organized in the coming months, the specific Project Implementation Unit shut down and the work transferred to normal IMO desks. This is on the one hand a clear signal of  how mature the DCoC project has become, with one of the final steps, the opening of the training center in Djibouti to be completed this year. On the other hand this development questions whether in future sufficient attention and energy will be invested by the IMO to go further steps in the implementation of DCoC. The visit also allowed for a longer lessons learned interview with Phil Holihead of IMO which is forthcoming with the Lessons Learned Project of the CGPCS.  

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Will Maritime Security feature at all on NATO Wales summit agenda?

conversationNATO’s Wales Summit focuses on Ukraine and Iraq, but what about maritime security? In a new comment published with The Conversation I address the question how important maritime security is for the alliance and that an appropriate implementation plan for the Alliance Maritime Strategy is needed.

Here’s the link:


Conference on NATO Wales Summit @ Cardiff University

nato_wales_summit_horiz_colour_logoNext week NATO will hold its summit in Newport, Wales. To complement the summit agenda Cardiff University is hosting a major conference on the future of NATO. The conference taking place on the 2nd of September will feature panels on maritime security, cyber security, smart defense and the future of the transatlantic partnership. Stephen Krasner (Stanford University) will deliver the academic keynote address and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General, of NATO will provide his insights on the future of NATO as the policy keynote. The full program is available here.

At the conference I will present the outcomes of my research on counter-piracy. Drawing on an article forthcoming with Global Affairs, I will ask what the lessons of piracy are for future maritime security governance.