PIRACY AROUND AFRICA’S WEST AND EAST COASTS: A COMPARATIVE POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Theo Neethling

Abstract


The study of politics, or political science, focuses on both the abstract theories and
practical operation of government and politics. The phenomenon of piracy on the
east and west coasts of Africa brings an important scholarly issue to the fore, namely
the significant roles of non-state actors in national, regional and global issues and
politics. The phenomenon of maritime piracy along Africa’s coastal areas is indeed
of great strategic and political-economic interest − specifically since globalisation
and maritime trade show a close interface. This article examines the similarities and
differences relating to the phenomenon of piracy on the east and west coasts of
Africa from a Political Science perspective by assessing, interpreting and appraising
the phenomenon, and ascribing meaning to recent events and developments. It also
explains the current insecurity off the west and east African coasts and closes with a
brief comparison between the two regions under review. It concludes with the point
that most security challenges confronting Africa have their origin in the lack or
failure of governance as states are the primary actors and agents of good order at
sea. Thus the required good order at sea should be viewed as a function of how
states, such as Somalia and Nigeria, exercise their jurisdiction at sea to secure busy
sea lanes and also to protect the safe harvesting and extraction of resources.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/38-2-91

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Copyright (c) 2018 Theo Neethling


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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