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.
In 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 will discuss 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.
NATO’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:
Next 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.
My book chapter which discusses the different way of how expertise in international relations has been studied is now available in print and online as part of the Handbook “The Global Politics of Science and Technology”. It will be an interesting read for anyone interested in the role of experts, politics and knowledge production as well as international organizations. The chapter provides an historical overview and argues that there are three generations of studying expertise in international relations.
The role and functions of expertise in international politics is, since decades, a core research theme. This chapter outlines a history of how the relation between science and international politics has been approached through the lenses of expertise. My intention is to offer a heuristic device. I argue that the debate can be structured in three generations. A first generation is interested in experts as actors that have a causal influence on international politics. The second generation scrutinizes discourses of expertise and their constitutional role in making the international. And the third generation concentrates on practices of expertise and the way these perform the epistemic arrangements of the international. To think about the study of expertise in the frame of three generations each offering different insights and carrying advantages and problems provides not only a practical tool for sorting ideas, but clarifies what one ‘buys in’ by following a specific generation.
From the 6th to the 9th of August the World International Studies Committee will hold its 4th conference. The conference is hosted by the JWG University of Frankfurt. The conference has a rich program across the entire spectrum of International Relations. Together with Coventry University and the Bundeswehr University Munich I have organized a panel series titled “Maritime Securityscapes”. In the three panels and two roundtables we explore the agenda of new maritime security studies, with a focus on piracy, non-state actors, securitization of the maritime, and maritime security governance.
In addition I am also the discussant of a panel on titled “How experts shape the globe: On Knowledge and Authority in Transnationalized Legal Fields” and present my paper on the epistemic infrastructure of contemporary piracy in a panel titled “the potential of practice-based approaches in IR”.
Two new working papers are available on the website of the Lessons Learned Consortium of the Contact Group on Piracy of the Coast of Somalia. The first one authored by William Smith of Chinese University Hong Kong evaluates the work of the Contact Group in the light of the discussions on legitimacy. The second one authored by myself asks how the internal lessons of the CGPCS can be used to improve coordination for capacity-building in the new Contact Group structure.
In a new short contribution to The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, I discuss the reasons for the decline of Somali piracy and why continuous efforts in counter-piracy will be necessary. I argue that the focus on capacity-building of the CGPCS is important, but requires sustained attention. Read the contribution here.
Tomorrow, July 25th, marks the first African Day of Seas and Oceans. To raise awareness for African maritime security and the importance of the AIMS strategy, I have published a short comment with The Conversation. It is titled “Why fighting pirates in African waters is crucial to our security” and available here.
The Olympia Summer Academy provided the framework for the first summer school in maritime security (18-22.7.2014). The summer school organized by Cardiff University and piracy-studies.org brought together 12 students from across the world to discuss different aspects of maritime security and the future challenges for research. The summer school was taught by two academics (Dr. Christian Bueger, Cardiff University and Prof. Harry Papasotiriou, Pantheon University Athens) and one practitioner (Capt. Hartmut Hesse, former IMO special representative). The sessions focused on the concept of maritime security, theoretical perspectives on maritime security, naval strategy, the law of the sea, the work of the International Maritime Organization, an in-depth analysis of maritime piracy, and the challenges of maritime capacity building. The discussion revealed the many gaps in research and analysis that the young field of maritime security studies has still to fill. Especially the role of civil actors, capacity building, and new approaches to managing the complexity of maritime security requires more academic attention. The new generation of scholars in the field will play a vital role in this.