Piratical Violence and Maritime Security in Southeast Asia

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Renwick, Neil; & Abbott, Jason (1999) Piratical Violence and Maritime Security in Southeast Asia , Security Dialogue 30(2): 183–196.

Nearly half the piratical attacks reported during the 1990s worldwide have taken place in Southeast Asia, mainly in the territorial and international waters of Indonesia. Since the beginning of the decade, the Singaporean authorities have taken firm unilateral and joint actions with their neighbours, resulting in a significant reduction of piracy in the Malacca and Singapore Straits. Elsewhere piracy is a low security priority often considered in terms of a very limited definition of 'security'. Piracy encompasses questions concerning non-state actors such as terrorists, secessionists and organized crime groups. It raises legal problems over the right of 'hot pursuit' as well as over the international legal definition of piracy, and logistical problems of policing. Closer cooperation in Southeast Asia, including institutionalization of anti-piracy measures into the ASEAN Regional Forum, has brought some results. However, greater efforts should be put into developing policies to alleviate the motivating socio-economic factors behind piracy.