Are the Pirates of Aden moving Beyond Somalia’s Shores?
The problem of maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf presents a new research area in regional and global studies. The focal academic interest is attached to both theoretical and practical issues surrounding the problem of piracy: analysis of the current state of this issue, question on the status of pirates as possible actors of the regional security system, new trends in maritime piracy exhibited in the region.
At the current level of this problem, it is necessary to prove or disapprove of the thesis that today maritime piracy is a local, and not international, problem. The same applies to the issue whether maritime piracy is linked with Somalia state failure and the necessity of international reaction to this issue. Threats to global security that may arise from this issue also require assessment.
This article incorporates the consideration of soft security issues into analysis of current trends in maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf. In particular, the spectrum of issues that influence security configuration in this region is widened to include tendencies in internal political development, and state failure issue, as it fosters the conditions favorable for maritime piracy and kidnapping in this region.
A new method of research is applied in this material. This is the method of analytical monitoring, which was used by the author to apprehend the situation in the Aden Gulf for several years from 2009 to 2012. This allowed creating a database of events, related to this issue. This database widens the opportunities of conducting long-term research on the issues of maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf.
The article aims to analyze problem of maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf in the context of regional political processes. To accomplish this aim, several analytical tasks are required:
1. To assess ongoing trends in maritime piracy in Aden Gulf
2. Determine the level of threat posed by maritime piracy in context of regional security
3. Evaluate the level of international community’ involvement in resolving the issue of piracy in the region
4. Assess the viability of the question on the status of pirates as actors of regional system of international relations in full right
5. Determine the level of correlation of the maritime piracy in Aden issue with the state failure issue in Somalia
The object of this research is the current configuration of maritime piracy in Aden issue. The research subject is then divided into several focal issues:
1. Current trends in maritime piracy in the Aden Gulf
2. Particulars of pirates groups’ activities in relation to trade and private vessels, which follow the course through the Gulf
3. State failure issue in Somalia in the context of maritime piracy as a threat to regional security
4. Actions taken by international coalition to counter maritime piracy threat (country-specific actions and activities of international agencies)
In this article, a new method of analytical monitoring will be applied. This method presupposes a deeper and more data-correct analysis of the event timeline in the region of Somalia. This method allows more analysis from the point of view of foreign policy and international relations theory. Analytical monitoring allows to widen the scope of situation analysis and comparative analysis methods, which are traditionally used for cases such as the one described in this article. This method presumes the creation and timely updating of the database of events in this area. In this database, all events related to piracy, which are reported in the press, are divided into several groups: actions taken by the pirates, actions taken by the local government, reaction\actions taken by the world community. This allows demonstrating major changes and trends in the development of problem of maritime piracy in this region. Application of this method provides a deeper study of events with categorization of the actions according to the actor and context. Thus, it is easier to visualize both qualitative and quantitative changes in the issue of maritime piracy in this region. Overall, this enables a researcher to account both local and regional events.