Impacts Of Maritime Insecurity On Peace And Stability In The Indian Ocean Region

Master's Thesis, 2012

72 Pages, Grade: PASS



1.0 Introduction
1.1 Statement of the research problem
1.2 Research Questions
1.3 Research Objectives
1.4 Literature Review
1.5 Justification Of The Study
1.6 Theoretical Framework
1.7 Hypotheses
1.8 Methodology

2.0 Introduction
2.1 Transnational Security Threats in the Indian Ocean
2.1.1 Terrorism
2.1.2 Piracy
2.1.3 Trafficking
2.1.4 Bunkering
2.1.5 Non-traditional maritime challenges in the Indian Ocean
2.1.6 Conclusion

3.0 Introduction
3.1 maritime insecurity and the economic growth of states in the Indian Ocean
3.2 maritime insecurity and trade in the Indian Ocean
3.3 Uncontrolled and Unreported fishing
3.4 Impacts of the security threats on maritime communities in the Indian Ocean region
3.6 Impacts of maritime threats on maritime environment in the Indian Ocean region
3.7 Impacts of maritime threats on maritime resources in the Indian Ocean region
3.8 Conclusion

4.1.1 Background Information
4.1.2 Security Situation in the Indian Ocean region
4.1.3 Threats in the Indian Ocean region
4.2 Test of Hypothesis
4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 Co-operation towards a maritime security
4.3.3 Indian Ocean regional trade bloc
4.3.4 Role of epistemic communities on sustainable maritime environment
4.3.5 Managing the maritime environment
4.3.6 Information hub on maritime security threats
4.3.7 Indian Ocean as a zone of peace
4.3.8 Conclusion

5.1 Recommendations
5.2 Further Research






1.0 Introduction

The Indian Ocean region comprises five mainland states (Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa) and five island states (Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion [France]),[1] with Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt[2] being considered states within the region. The Indian Ocean region is part of an interdependent and interconnected global society supported by a global economy which ties states together. Such a global economy cannot simply function if the world’s oceans are not safe and secure for maritime commerce and other related activities. The power inequalities in the international system are source of both international and globally insecurity

The current global environment is faced with transnational security challenges that know no state boundaries. They are threats to the stability of nation-states by non-state actors and multinational corporations through their involvement in cross border trade which may directly affect the economic and physical environment. Globalization has become inevitable because of the complex interdependent relationship between states[3] that has seen state borders become more porous. Unrestrained by borders and international protocols, these new transnational threats threaten the nation-states and often pose serious and dynamic challenges to national and international stability. These threats ranging from piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal fishing and bunkering among others-also takes place at sea.[4]

The maritime environment is conducive to these types of threat contingencies given the vast, largely unregulated and opaque nature that characterizes it. The marine environment is defined as the complex union and interaction between all the living things that live in or on the sea, e.g. seabirds, marine mammals, fish, snails, shellfish, sponges and seaweed; and also the oceans, seas, bays, estuaries, islands, coastal areas, and the airspace above them. The maritime environment also includes ships, vessels, ports, and boats and other man-made things such as oil drilling platforms.

Teich, and others indicates that maritime commerce is an essential component of the current globalized economy and as such, defense of the maritime domain is critical in ensuring continued economic prosperity and national security for the world‘s maritime nations.[5] He adds that as many states reduce their resource allocation for maritime security capacities to be used in other national priorities, a multilateral approach to maritime security must be adopted. After the end of the cold war, the notion of security has been subjected to intense scrutiny. Dannreuther argues that the conditions for peace are strongest among the most economically developed liberal democracies, such as the United States, Europe and Japan where there is a general satisfaction with the prevailing liberal order and a corresponding sense of the illegitimacy of the use of force in their mutual relations.[6] This is not the case for most states along the Indian Ocean region since their priorities are not the same as for their developed counterparts. International security is paramount if the various regions in the world are to be stable and be able to coordinate their activities, maritime security is therefore equally important for the stability of the states within the region and without. Technology can dramatically improve Africa’s maritime security coverage. Due to globalization, local threats and insecurities become rapidly internationalized thus there is need to prevent unlawful acts in the maritime domain as they directly impact on the maritime security of the littoral states as well as the region at large. Global maritime safety, peace and security are a concern to all nations because majority of goods and services travel across the ocean.

Maritime security therefore concerns the absence of acts which negatively impact on the natural integrity and resilience of any navigable waterway. Such acts impacts on the maritime environment by undermining the safety of the operations in the seas and the security of persons conducting lawful transactions in international waters. Therefore having an effective maritime security policy would ensure unhindered oceanic trade, safe navigation, the safeguard of coastal communities and their livelihoods, together with the protection of the food chain that sustain and preserve oceanic plant and fauna life.

The peace and stability of the region is directly pegged on the maritime environment being safe and conducive for all such activities. According to Webel Peace is a linchpin of social harmony, economic equity and political justice, but peace is also constantly ruptured by wars and other forms of violent conflict.[7] Peace and stability is therefore the cornerstone of all activities that takes place in a country be it in the mainland or in the coastal areas, and any activity can be interrupted if the environment is not safe. However, some people carry out their activities in such unstable conditions but at a higher risk since things can go wrong at anytime.

Mwagiru states that security issues must be reciprocal in order to benefit all actors in a security system.[8] There have been attempts to direct the focus to the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace with many state and non state actors joining forces to ensure a safer maritime environment. This however has not been easy since most of the countries along the Indian Ocean region have been categorized as developing countries. It is therefore quite evident that most of their resources are directed to other national interest priorities. International trust which is the essential glue of international security has also progressively deteriorated in the region as portrayed by selfish objectives are being pursued by most states.

1.1 Statement of the research problem

The main mode of transportation of most of the imports and exports across the world is through the sea, and therefore maritime security is vital to all states. Maritime security has been and continues to be a topic of discussion in the international arena as most of the world’s trade including oil transport takes place in the Indian Ocean waters. The discussions and debates revolve around the degree of importance of the Indian Ocean to the states within the region and those that are directly and indirectly impacted by the activities in the Indian Ocean. Economic, security, and political conditions adversely affected by lack of governance in the maritime domain foster militancy and insurgency placing populations along the ocean at risk. The international community has continued to witness transnational challenges which range from trafficking of arms, drugs, humans, contraband; international terrorism, oil theft or bunkering, piracy, poaching(fish),illegal mining, pollution through illegal dumping of solid and hazardous waste .

As globalization intensifies and the need for oil globally increases, states along the Indian Ocean are being faced with a security problem that is directly linked with activities across the sea. This has led to such states facing the challenge of adjusting to the unstable environment, with peace being an objective yet to be achieved. Several states and other non state actors have sought consolidated and comprehensive approaches to effective maritime policy; however, they have given very little attention to the need to understand the peace and stability component of the maritime environment.

1.2 Research Questions

1. What are the threats to maritime security that affect the peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region?
2. What are the impacts of maritime security on peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region?

1.3 Research Objectives

1. To identify the threats to maritime security that affects the peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region.
2. To determine the impacts of maritime security and peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region.
3. To examine the possible and alternate solutions to a peaceful and stable Indian ocean

1.4 Literature Review

The literature review analyzes materials and data available on the topic of maritime security with its relation to the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean region. Much of the literature deals with maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the security threats that disturb the tranquility of the region. The other literature will deal the correlation between maritime security, peace and stability together with the possible solutions to the security challenges faced in the Indian Ocean region.

As compared to the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, it has been noted that the Indian Ocean probably presents the greatest challenge for security management. The smallest of the three oceans, the Indian Ocean almost lies exclusively in tropical and subtropical zones.[9] Maluki explains that the Indian Ocean is an arch-shaped water mass with more choke-points than gateways. The straits of East Indies – Makassar, Lombaka and Sunda, the Timor Sea, Singapore and Malacca- provide entry from the Pacific Ocean while the Bab-el-Mandab, the Red Sea and Suez Canal open into the Mediterranean Sea. The only open-ended entry to the Indian Ocean is at the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa.[10] Over the centuries, the Indian Ocean has been an important international waterway. The Indian Ocean has always had a major share of global piracy and terror attacks among other illegal activities in territorial waters due to weak maritime policing. From whichever direction, the entry into the Indian Ocean is constrained by geographic imperatives, thus making the Indian Ocean seem bereft of any collective maritime security arrangements.

The Indian Ocean is considered one among the world’s busiest international trade corridors due to the expansion of Asian economies and the increased need for raw materials and energy resources from the Middle East and Africa. The global economy is built on integrated supply chain which is greatly supported by the maritime environment making the Indian Ocean an important highway of commerce, with significant geo-strategic and geo-economic value in the global scene.

Fanelli explains that the traditional theory of international trade emphasizes efficient resource allocation and endowment as the main explanation for a country’s specialization pattern. International trade has a long and illustrious history, as far back as classical antiquity, nations have traded. Perhaps a more important reason is that all nations are interdependent; no nation can be self sufficient, independent from international trade, without great sacrifices.[11] As oceangoing technology increased, seafarers became more and more bold. They went further and faster in the race to bring trade to the far corners of the world. Each and new vessel arrival brought new languages, merchandise and products. This often led to conflicts and man’s ability to use oceangoing vessels as machines of war increased.[12]

Maritime security is therefore concerned with freedom or absence of those acts which could negatively impact on the natural integrity of and resilience of any navigable waterway; or undermine the safety of persons, infrastructure, cargo, vessel and other conveyances legitimately existing in, conducting lawful transactions on, or transiting through territorial and international waters .[13] This simply means the prevention of unlawful acts in the maritime domain which cuts across the oceans, seas, bays, estuaries, islands, coastal areas, and the airspace above these, including the littorals; whether they directly impact the country or region in question or the perpetrators in transit.

There has been increased sea-based trade due to increased globalization, but prevalence of illegal activities in the Indian Ocean increases the costs of international trade and harms both the fishing and tourism industries of the Indian Ocean coastal states. Mwagiru Makumi asserts that;

“… Globalization and its process have helped to dissolve the old borders; and it has opened up the international system in the ways that were not earlier thought to be possible. Globalization has opened up new frontiers for international political relations and for the international political economy[14]

The main transportation mode of most of the imports and exports across the world is through the sea and therefore maritime security is vital to all states. The security of the Littorals is as important as any other dimension of national security and raises several issues and challenges for states. A littoral is an area where sea meets land.[15] Littorals provide the muscle for economic growth and development, but in some cases, they can also be focal points of social dysfunction due to economic disparities. Lack of governance and an ineffective social security apparatus have in some coastal areas created favorable conditions for illegal activities. In the absence of good governance, criminal and subversive elements flourish and these can disrupt social harmony. Governance of littorals is thus a major challenge in the Indian Ocean region.

A recent example is Somalia where piracy and terrorism attacks have affected the stability of the state and the region. This has attracted international attention with some of the effort being the London Conference on Somalia, which took place on 23rd February 2012 at Lancaster House attended by delegations from Somalia and the international community. One of the issues that came out strongly was piracy, its adverse effect on international security and the need to curb the menace both on land and on sea.[16] Cooperation for the common good is the task both for the sake of peace and for a better economic life of the region and do not always follow political ideologies.[17]

To promote cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, several attempts were made; The Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation Council (IOMAC) was also initiated in 1985 to provide a framework for dealing with marine resources, science and environmental issues, but could not gather the requisite support and momentum to deliver its mandate. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) were also initiated but the progress was notably slow. The most recent grouping is the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative. Unfortunately, the recent advancement of technology and communication has, however, rendered such groupings ineffective as they make it easy for sophistication of piracy, terrorism and other similar acts in the sea.

The literature review defines terms like maritime security and looks at the issues relating to maritime policy that influence economy, security and peace in the region. It further mentions the threats in the Indian Ocean and how it impacts on the peace and stability of the region.

1.4.1 Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean

Security in any objective sense, measures the absence of threats to acquired values and in a subjective sense the absence of fear that such values will be attacked.[18] Maritime security encompasses a vast range of policy sectors, information services and user communities, including maritime safety, search and rescue, policing operations, operational safety for offshore oil and gas production, marine environmental monitoring and protection, and navy operations support.[19]

Maritime security is concerned with the maritime integrity of all the elements that form the basic and essential features of the maritime domain and the safety of all foreign objects existing in or making use of the maritime domain. Maritime security may, therefore, be defined as those measures employed by owners, operators, and administration of vessels, port facilities, offshore installations, or other marine organizations and establishments to protect against seizure, sabotage, piracy, theft, terrorism activities and hostile interference with lawful operations.[20] Most countries consider the creation and maintenance of security in the Indian Ocean as essential to mitigating threats short of war, including piracy, terrorism, and weapon proliferation, drug trafficking as well as other illicit activities. Maritime commerce in the Indian Ocean is a particularly important component of a global maritime trade.[21] Thus, countering these irregular and transnational threats protects states, enhances global peace, stability and secures freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.

Ghosh argues that challenges in the maritime sphere call for more effective law enforcement and the maintenance of maritime order, saying that the challenges in the Indian Ocean are essentially part constabulary, part economic and part human welfare. Maritime crime has increased, hence, opened avenues for security cooperation.[22] Unfortunately as Lehr notes; unlike the case with the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean has not so far developed an overarching security system that could meet the challenges of maritime security.[23] The Indian Ocean needs epistemic communities to enhance cooperation in ecological areas such as ocean pollution, cyclones and global warming. Haas describes epistemic communities as strategically placed experts who are part of a transnational community, maybe of scientist or technologists who help in handling issues in the maritime environment[24]

Noting the effects of globalization, the common requirement of maritime security is the Protection of sea lines of communications (SLOCs); this is due to increased importance of broadband communication connections linked by undersea cables traversing the Indian Ocean. The security of SLOCs is vital to the growth of the global economy, and in this context, the Indian Ocean is the world’s most important energy route way. The Indian Ocean’s geo-strategic importance to the USA has increased over time mainly due to oil and other natural resources.[25]

1.4.2 Security threats in the Indian Ocean region

The oceans, like the outer space are the last completely untamed frontiers of our planet. As such, their potential for achievement or for strife is vast. Technological innovations have opened up new frontiers for development or destruction. The recent years have seen a number of discussions, talks, symposiums and conferences in different forums that turned the spotlight on the Indian Ocean region and the strategic importance it offers to the countries in the region and those outside the region. Any hindrance to the operations in the sea is an obstacle to the global village, thus the regional and international attention.

Further, it is imperative that states along the Indian Ocean region must work with international organizations as well as the shipping industry to repress any security threats to global maritime environment. The Indian Ocean zone is a region where multiple issues are imperfectly linked together. This suggests that regime formation may be useful as a way of systemizing cooperation.[26] Maluki argues, ‘We live in a globalized world faced with common global collective goods and collective fates where the continuing diffusion of information technology and new applications of biotechnology has become a major building block for international commerce and for empowering non-state actors’.[27] With such an environment, it is feared that, terrorists, pirates, arms proliferators, narco-traffickers, and organized criminals will take advantage of the new high-speed information environment and other advances in technology to integrate their illegal activities and compound their threat to stability and security around the world.

Some of the most dominant Security threats in the Indian Ocean region include; Trafficking of arms, drugs, humans, contraband, international terrorism, oil theft or bunkering, piracy, poaching (fish), illegal mining, pollution through illegal dumping of solid and hazardous waste at sea that threatens the maritime environment and human health. Notably, the main elements in the security concern in Indian Ocean are those involved with the non-traditional threats. Most of them are rooted in social economic ecological and political choices with most of them ranging from issues of chronic poverty and hunger, population growth, the energy crisis, environmental degradation, poor governance and deterioration in law and order, trafficking in persons and illegal drugs. Other non-traditional threats include; the problem of gender discrimination, border demarcations and delimitation of maritime boundaries, trade disputes, the repatriation of stranded refugees, and massive violations of human rights within the maritime environment.

Piracy remains an age old concern in the Indian Ocean waters with the entire Indian Ocean being infested with pirates. According to International Maritime Organization (IMO) Annual Reports, the Straits of Malacca, South China Sea and the Indian Ocean are the areas that have been most affected by piracy. Another disturbing maritime challenge in the present international environment is maritime terrorism. This involves the use of ocean space as an area for diverse operation by terrorist groups like the Al Qaeda and other similar groups with such Terrorist organization in the region owning their own merchant fleets, of various types, registered under ‘flag of convenience’.

Closely related to maritime terrorism is the crime of gunrunning; Gunrunning by sea is considered the safest and most convenient method of transferring arms in masses. There is a close nexus between human trafficking, gunrunning, and narco-terrorism as terrorist groups often work closely with drug cartels. Another threat in the Indian Ocean is mining of waters, especially choke points, which could be used by non-state actors to conduct maritime warfare against identified enemies with the intention to disrupt their economic life by dismantling the trade and energy flow in the region. These challenges highlight on the importance of maintenance of the maritime order and effective law enforcement which require a multilateral approach among all the stakeholders in the Indian Ocean. The constabulary role beyond territorial waters needs an institutional mechanism and international, regional cooperation to ensure a stable and peaceful maritime environment.[28]

1.4.3 Peace and Stability in the Indian Ocean

Peace can be explained as a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom. Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict and is commonly understood as the absence of hostility. It can also be described as the tranquility and freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations, incorporated with public security and order, Inner contentment; and serenity. Keeping the peace is not always easy, maintaining or refraining from disturbing law and order requires a collaborative approach since the world is interconnected. Stability on the other hand is being steady in position or balance, the state or quality of being stable. Somalia has posed several security threats in the region with piracy being a result of the lack of a strong government in Somalia. The stability of the region is determined by the political, social and economic stability of the individual states.

Ensuring a stable maritime environment would hold the key to further economic progress of the states in the Indian Ocean region and reflect on their standing among the economic powers of the world. Proper coordination between the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the Police Forces also holds the key to meeting the maritime challenges facing the states in the 21st Century and ensuring a peaceful and stable maritime environment. This also calls for the Indian Maritime Forces comprising of Navy and Coast Guard to redefine their role in consonant with the changing scenario. Maritime security is important for securing the national interest of a state.

This would ensure protecting territorial integrity, economic progress, energy security, marine environment stability, and protection of port facilities, as well as maritime transport encompassing goods and people, safety of navigation, protection against sea water pollution.

Further, Peace and security are fundamental to states' ability to meet the needs of their people ensuring their safety. The Indian Ocean inevitably is an area where many differing cultures, religions, ideologies and political systems compete and struggle to survive or expand their own interests and the interests of its citizens. With a huge proportion of trade being carried by sea, particularly the port of Mombasa, concerns are raised on what the strategic response is being adopted by regional navies to ensure the safe and efficient carriage of these cargoes. Maritime strategies that are formulated by the various stakeholders have a peacetime dimension with the wave of globalization becoming stronger. There are countries outside the immediate region that are also dependent on secure shipping, with inclusion of the landlocked countries, thus they too have a legitimate interest in fostering a regime of cooperation and calm in the Indian ocean region. Instead of leaving security management to chance it is therefore axiomatic to emphasize that it is in the interests of all to build a maritime security mechanism to promote an ocean wide orbit of confidence and serenity. All the countries in the Indian Ocean region should, therefore, take the lead in enhancing maritime security cooperation.

Maritime security is a key component of collective security and therefore forms part of the foundation for economic development.[29] The Indian Ocean region supports states along its coast in Africa and other landlocked countries that depend on the ports for most of their supplies. Despite this acknowledged importance of the Indian Ocean to national or regional economy, Africa is the only major region in the world that does not have its own maritime policy or strategy. However a general lack of law and order characterizes the African East coast from the Red Sea southwards to South Africa, where the South African Navy probably represents the first credible African maritime buffer against disorder at sea. This has fueled emergence of more severe security threats like the commercial and bio-piracy along the coast and on the high seas. Africa’s fishing grounds are being pillaged; its coastal waters polluted and poisoned; leading to its marine environment destroyed. Such security threats disturb the tranquility of the region as no East African littoral state has the maritime means to prevent or terminate the scourge.

With the foregoing, it is thus quite evident that for the Indian Ocean region to survive the security threats in the region, regional cooperation has to be made a reality. This calls for need to emphasis on the commitment of states and all other non-state actors involved in the marine environment. By bringing together all major stakeholders, duplication of efforts will be avoided thus enabling the stakeholders to build upon existing initiatives and come up with new strategies on dealing with maritime security threats . Security is not static and requires continuous awareness, vigilance and coordinated prompt response from all directions.[30]

Security threats change from day-to-day, the Indian Ocean have had its share of these security challenges. Governments in the region need therefore to monitor changes and to offset them, as they occur, by communicating appropriate information and guidance to ships and port facilities. Maritime transport is considered a regional, continental and international activity; the African maritime transport charter, Durban, 2009 by the AU lays out a clear guideline for African states on the operations in the sea, especially the Indian Ocean.

Finally, the globalized world has entered the social 21st Century with relatively high social expectations by the international society, coupled with uncertainty and the rise of violent non-state actors that have posed serious challenges and threats to the maritime environment. This makes maritime security imperative and no efforts should be spared in curbing maritime such maritime threats. From the literature review, it is clear that trade in the Indian Ocean of various types of goods including oil, humanitarian assistance and other goods will continue to increase due to their economic and social impacts on the region. This explains the need for a stable and more peaceful maritime environment that is enabling.

1.5 Justification Of The Study

This research sets out to identify the various maritime security threats in the Indian Ocean region in order to suggest interventions geared towards improving the situation in the region. The study will explore the various impacts of maritime security on peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region and provide a basis on which all stakeholders in the maritime environment will be able to increase their knowledge base about the region, challenges, opportunities and its relation to the international arena. Through this research study, given the current security threats in the Indian ocean region, it is hoped that alternative strategies which could be used but not yet being utilized to assist in security situation redress, would be identified and identified/sought.

Due to the importance of the peace and stability for the economies of all the littoral states and other states linked to these states, the study will also be of interest to the states in the region and to the policy makers in the development of applicable and actionable maritime policy frameworks. The data to be collected in this study may provide policy makers with information relating to how the maritime environment can accommodate and incorporate the various challenges arising from the ever dynamic global system.

From the foregoing, studies on maritime security has been conducted in various countries and varying observations and recommendation made. There has been no consensus on the exact and defined solutions on how the sea can be regulated and its operations organized. It is therefore necessary to conduct a research on the link between maritime security and the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean region which can be replicated in the other maritime regions.

1.6 Theoretical Framework

This study will be based on the theory of liberalism. The theory of liberalism was developed by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher who sought to explain how peace and cooperation between states is possible.[31] Kant in his essay ‘ perpetual peace’ explains that without a compact between the nations, however, this state of peace cannot be established or assured. He further states that there must be an alliance of a particular kind which we may call a covenant of peace.[32] He also explains that states can develop the organizations and rules to facilitate co-operation. Baylis agrees with Kant in his argument that each nation for the sake of its own security can and ought to demand of the others that they should enter along with it into a constitution similar to a civil one, within which the rights of each could be secured.[33] This follows the fact that globalization has made the relations between states more closer with transnational threats like piracy, terrorism, pollution in the sea, trafficking and oil bunkering becoming common problems. Kant explains that perpetual peace is arguably seen as the starting point of contemporary liberal thought. Every state, for the sake of its own security, may-and ought to-demand that its neighbor should submit itself to conditions, similar to those of the civil society where the right of every individual is guaranteed.[34] Maritime security is traditionally the responsibility of states, but the demand for fast and flexible responses to piracy has created opportunities for private security guards to operate on board ships passing through insecure waters.[35]

Democratic peace liberalism and neo-liberalism are the most dominant strands in liberal thinking today. This is supported by the thinking that democratic states tend not to fight other democratic states; therefore democracy is seen as a major source of peace. Neo-liberalism explains the durability of institutions despite the significant change in context. In their view, institutions exert a causal force on international relations shaping state preferences and locking them into cooperative arrangements. Liberalists also argues that peace depends on the internal character of governments and that a state with a legislative arm can curb excesses and keep the executive in check thereby promoting peace and harmony within the state and its citizens .[36]

Liberalists further argue that trade promotes peace and relies on the presumption that trade increases wealth, cooperation and global well-being, while making conflict less likely in the long-term because governments will not want to disrupt any process that adds to the wealth of their state.[37] Trade and other activities that take place across the sea surpass the ability of individual states, and as such, states need to cooperate to ensure a stable maritime environment. Cooperation is a purposive association amongst states to pursue or further a common interest. Liberalist theory is among several theories that have been advanced to explain how states can cooperate despite the anarchical international system. The international system is anarchic since there is no ultimate international authority to govern the states, thus the absence of a centralized authority may preclude the attainment of the common goals.[38]

Liberal theories therefore argue that states have the ability to develop and follow mutually advantageous rules, with international institutions to monitor and enforce them. The lack of credible institutions in the region and weak maritime policies are major challenges that states in the region face in their attempt to make the maritime environment stable, peaceful and conducive for trade, human, marine and animal life. Such institutions can be formed by states in collaboration with other stakeholders who can inform policy and contribute to maritime security. However, the instability observed in the Indian Ocean region both politically and economically makes it hard to establish a strong maritime policy for regulating the operations which may result in a stable maritime environment. Since liberal theories hold that peace promotes trade amongst other maritime activities, it is therefore paramount to understand the peace and stability aspect in the Indian Ocean region.

1.7 Hypotheses

1. There is a link between maritime insecurity, their impacts and peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region.
2. Cooperation in the Indian Ocean region can aid in ensuring a stable and peaceful maritime environment.

1.8 Methodology

The aim of the study is to analyze the maritime insecurity in the Indian Ocean and its impacts on peace and stability in the region. The study will employ both the qualitative and quantitative approach. To gather quantitative data, the study will administer standard questionnaire while qualitative data will be gathered by reviewing documents related to the topic. The research design for this study will be a case study. Therefore this study will be carried out as a case study of representative states in the Indian Ocean, with a focus on the states along the East African coast. Churchill points out that a case study is useful in answering questions about the current status of the subject or topic of study. It also facilitates gathering of a wide array of data that is useful for comparative analysis.[39]

The study will combine both desk research and field research. Data to be collected will be both qualitative and quantitative and it will largely be obtained both primary and secondary sources. Purposive sampling will first enable the researcher to determine security threats that are faced or experienced by the target population which will be represented in the sample while the randomization within each security threat category will ensure a more representative sample whose results can be inferred to a larger population.[40]

The sample population will cut across the various groups that are involved in the day to day activities in the Indian Ocean region. The collection of primary data will involve careful selection of organizations for instance the International Maritime Organization, Maritime Bureau Organization, and individuals who work at the ports, in terminals and business persons whose line of business involves the maritime environment who operate in the Indian Ocean together with other stakeholders in the region like the tourists that travel by sea. The sample population will include; the communities living in the region, the tourists, government representatives in the maritime industry, the traders, the stakeholders in the shipping industry and international trade.

Information to be obtained from secondary data will be through desk research and will be sourced from both published and unpublished materials. The pool of published data will include: various publications; journals like the Journal of Indian Ocean Studies, University of Peace journal, conventions like United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); books, magazines and newspapers; reports and publications of various associations connected with the maritime industry, reports prepared by research scholars like Peter Chalk, universities like the University of Peace , economists, in different but related fields; public records and statistics, historical documents, and other sources of published information. Unpublished work which will be used to shed more light on maritime issues may include letters, unpublished biographies and autobiographies and also may also be obtained from epistemic communities. The focus of the study will therefore be on a selected number of organizations, institutions and individuals that will shape the research.


[1] United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Seas Programme. Accessed 12/10/2012


[3] Mwagiru, M, (2004) African Regional Security in the Age of Globalization. Nairobi: Heinrich Boll Foundation. Pp127

[4] Regional Seas Programme Investing in Science and Technology to Meet Africa’s Maritime Security Challenges. Accessed 12/10/2012

[5] Teich Benjamin & Houff David, 2008. Building Partnerships: Co-operative Maritime Security, 2008 G8 Summit Declaration, "Development and Africa," July 8, 2008, p. 2

[6] Dannreuther, L.2008. International Security: the contemporary agenda, Cambridge. Polity Press.pp88

[7] Webel, C & Galtung, J, 2007.ed. Handbook of peace and conflict studies, Routledge, London.pp102

[8] Mwagiru, M, (2004) African Regional Security in the Age of Globalization. Nairobi: Heinrich Boll Foundation. Pp127

[9] Murthy, G.1996. T he Indian Ocean Rim initiative. Journal of Indian Ocean Studies.vol.3 no.2. Society for Indian Ocean studies.pp157

[10] Maluki ,P.2011. Regionalism in the Indian Ocean: Order, Cooperation and Community. Berlin VDM Verlag.pp12

[11] Fanelli, J.M et al, 2002: Finance and Competitiveness in Developing Countries, IDRC.pp37

[12] McNicholas, M.(2008) Maritime Security, an Introduction. New York, Elsevier Inc.pp1

[13] Maluki, P et al., (2012) Combating New Piracy in the Indian Ocean: Strategies and Challenges. Berlin: Lambert Academic Publishing.pp38

[14] Mwagiru, M, (2004) African Regional Security in the Age of Globalization. Nairobi: Heinrich Boll Foundation. Pp134

[15] Murthy G. 1996. The Indian Ocean Rim initiative . Journal of Indian Ocean Studies.vol.3 no.2,Society for Indian Ocean studies pp156

[16] London Conference on Somalia, February 2012- on 23/7/2012

[17] Mitrany,D.1966.A Working Peace System. Chicago: Quadrangle Press.Pp55

[18] Baylis, J et al, (2008) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford University Press, New York.

[19] Maluki, P et al., (2012) Combating New Piracy in the Indian Ocean: Strategies and Challenges. Berlin: Lambert Academic Publishing.pp29

[20] McNicholas,M (2008) Maritime Security, an Introduction. New York, Elsevier Inc.

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Impacts Of Maritime Insecurity On Peace And Stability In The Indian Ocean Region
University of Nairobi  (Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS))
International Relations
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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impacts, maritime, insecurity, peace, stability, indian, ocean, region
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Irene Limo (Author), 2012, Impacts Of Maritime Insecurity On Peace And Stability In The Indian Ocean Region, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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