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 andpractical operation of government and politics. The phenomenon of piracy on theeast and west coasts of Africa brings an important scholarly issue to the fore, namelythe significant roles of non-state actors in national, regional and global issues andpolitics. The phenomenon of maritime piracy along Africa’s coastal areas is indeedof great strategic and political-economic interest − specifically since globalisationand maritime trade show a close interface. This article examines the similarities anddifferences relating to the phenomenon of piracy on the east and west coasts ofAfrica from a Political Science perspective by assessing, interpreting and appraisingthe phenomenon, and ascribing meaning to recent events and developments. It alsoexplains the current insecurity off the west and east African coasts and closes with abrief comparison between the two regions under review. It concludes with the pointthat most security challenges confronting Africa have their origin in the lack orfailure of governance as states are the primary actors and agents of good order atsea. Thus the required good order at sea should be viewed as a function of howstates, such as Somalia and Nigeria, exercise their jurisdiction at sea to secure busysea lanes and also to protect the safe harvesting and extraction of resources.
Published
2011-08-10
Section
Articles