Christian Bueger

New Voices in Piracy Studies: Workshop @ Cardiff

Next week (28-29th of April),  I will be hosting a small workshop on current research on piracy and maritime security. The workshop titled “New Voices in Piracy Studies” brings together 10 junior researchers from across Europe working on projects in the field. In addition Dr. Marcus Houben (former head of the support team for the EEAS presidency of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia) and Dr. Anja Shortland (Kings College) will give keynotes and act as discussants in the debate.

The background for the event is that piracy off the coast of Somalia is contained, but not eradicated. West Africa and Southeast Asia continue to see high levels of piracy. Piracy studies has emerged over the last decade as a trans-disciplinary project that is geared at theorizing and understanding the phenomenon of piracy as well as studying the institutional responses to it. As a field piracy studies is linked to various other concerns, such as those in maritime security, criminology, or global governance. At the event we will discuss ongoing research on contemporary piracy and the responses to it, as well as related maritime security issues. The workshop aims at addressing three particular questions, that is,
1) To identify the gaps in our understanding of piracy (and maritime security threats) and the response to it
2) To outline how studies of piracy can contribute to the wider debates in maritime security, international security, international relations or international law
3) To discuss how research can contribute to the policy discussion on the responses to piracy and other maritime security challenges.


Talk on Political Life of Documents

papers-576385_960_720Documents are the main material of international politics. Yet, scant attention has been paid to how to analyze them. In an upcoming talk I will draw on my ethnographic research on the Contact group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) to argue that we should pay more attention to the practical logic of documents, that is, how they are actually produced. I revisit the main forms of document analysis and then provide a discussion of the production of the CGPCS’ main document, its so-called “communique”. I shall show how what the CGPCS does and how it works can be understood by paying close attention to this production process. The talk is part of the research seminar series of the School of Law and Politics. It takes place 13th April 2016 @ 1:00pm,  1.28, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff. All welcome.

Upcoming talks in North America

United_States_Naval_War_College_museumAs part of my tour through the US, I will be giving two talks presenting some of the results of my ESRC funded research project on counter-piracy governance. On Wednesday, 30th of March I am giving a talk at the U.S. Naval War College. The talk is titled “Learning from the Fight against piracy: Lessons for maritime security governance” and draws on my article in Global Affairs as well as more recent results of my work with the CGPCS lessons learned project. On Friday, 1st of April I will give a presentation at McGill University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies. I will discuss the case of the High Risk Area controversy within the CGPCS, how a practice theoretical vocabulary allows to decipher this controversy, and what broader lessons for global governing the case holds.

International Studies Association in Atlanta

ISAFrom the 15th to 20th of March I will be attending the annual conference of the International Studies Association in Atlanta, US. As usual the ISA conference has a rich and diverse program and provides ample of opportunities to catch up with colleagues. This year I will talk about my Counter-Piracy Governance research project at two roundtables. At the roundtable titled “IR meets Anthropology (TD27, Thursday, March 17th, 4:00-5:45 PM, Pavilion 5, Hilton Atlanta) I will be talking about the relationship of practice theory and ethnography and how the experimentalist research logic provides direction for inquiry. At the second roundtable titled “IR and STS/ANT: Accounting for heterogeneities in the international” (FB26, Friday, March 18, 10:30 AM-12:15 PM, 305, Hilton Atlanta) I will be discussing how IR theory can draw upon concepts developed in Science and Technology Studies to gather a better understanding of how the assemblages of global governance are formed. I am also chairing the panel Making Central & Eastern Europe International: New Perspectives (WD74, Wednesday, March 16th, 4:00-5:45 PM, 313 Hilton Atlanta) which is organized by the journal New Perspectives and will be discussing the methodology of studying practices at the Critical Security Studies Methods Cafe (TA05, Thursday, March 17, 8:15-10:00 AM, Grand Ballroom B, Hilton Atlanta). We will also be holding an Editorial Board Meeting of the European Journal of International Security to plan for our forthcoming issues.

Conference on Maritime Security in West Africa

The University of Portsmouth is organizing a half-day conference titled “Counter-piracy and maritime security: addressing Security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea” on 9 March 2016. I will be attending and give a presentation titled “Maritime Security and the Blue Economy – understanding the link” which draws on a paper I am co-authoring with Jessica Larssen (Copenhagen). The paper explores the relation between the maritime security and blue economy agenda in the light of work on the security-development nexus. We argue for the importance of mainstreaming the maritime dimension of international security and development in a way that neither follows a “security first”, nor a “economy first” logic. The full program of the event is available here. Here is the summary of my talk:  Continue reading

The Future of the CGPCS: New Blog Post

In a new blog post published with – The Research Portal for Maritime Security I discuss the future of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). The CGPCS is the core global governance mechanism by which the fight against Somali piracy is coordinated and I have studied it extensively in the frame of the CGPCS lessons learned project. In the blog I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of three options that have been articulated by the international community: Extend the work to cover either other regions, or other threats, or further streamline it. Please read the full blog here.

New Cardiff Department gets work going

The new Department of Politics and International Relations is now complete. Over the last two weeks my 16 new colleagues, all specialized in International Relations across its various sub-fields (in particular Security Studies, International History, Theory, International Political Sociology, Environmental Politics and Gender Studies) have arrived. An overview of all staff is provided here. The expansion of the department is part of a strategic investment to grow teaching and research in International Relations and establish new master programs in areas, such as internet politics or ocean governance.

CGPCS Strategy Meeting in Mumbai

taj lands endTo prepare for its 19th plenary, the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia held a strategy meeting on the 1st of February in Mumbai, India. The one day meeting was primarily to take stock about activities and progress since the last meeting in July 2015, and to think ahead and identify the issues that require further scrutiny. A crucial part of the discussion is also the question of how the group should be maintained or transformed. I attended the one day meeting as an observer as part of the CGPCS Lessons Learned Project and my ESRC project on Counter-Piracy Governance.  A short summary on the meeting will be published on the CGPCS website.

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First Issue of European Journal of International Security published

EISToday the first issue of the brand new European Journal of International Security (EJIS) went online.

EJIS is the new flagship journal of the British International Studies Association published with Cambridge University Press. The editorial team consists of colleagues from the GW4, with Tim Edmunds (Bristol) in the lead. Together we have been working for a year to get the journal up and running. Continue reading

Forum on Practice Turn published

coverThe forum discussing the future of the practice turn in International Relations has just been published by the International Studies Quarterly (ISQ) Blog and is available here. The forum takes our 2015 ISQ article titled “The Play of International Practice” as the starting point and then centers on the question what the promises of practice theoring in IR are. The forum includes contributions by Emanuel Adler and Vincent Pouliot, Rebecca Adler-Nissen and Ole Jacob Sending as well as a response by Frank Gadinger and me.