This paper was presented at the Cardiff University during the conference “Into the Blue: Rethinking Maritime Security”, held on 26/27 June 2014, by Dr. Heiko Borchert (see about/WPI members)
Globalization is based on the free flow of resources, goods, capital, information and people. These flows are organized within and along different domains such as the sea, air, space, and cyberspace. Together, these so called global commons form the bedrock of the current politico-economic system.
Freedom and stability of the global commons is one of the most important public goods. But different trends indicate that this very freedom is at risk. As a consequence, access to, maneuverability within, and use of the global maritime domain is increasingly contested. The risks entailed with this development follow from different trends that are closely intertwined. In order to understand the complex interplay of these different trends, the paper (1) puts forward an analytical approach to conceptualize the maritime domain as a transport route, a resource, habitat and an area for power and stability projection, (2) proposes a definition of maritime security, (3) addresses different trends in each of the aforementioned four categories that influence maritime security, and (4) provides food for thought on future capabilities required to provide maritime security.
In doing so, the paper will expand on three basic premises: First, in a globalized world connectedness is key to provide stability and prosperity. But maritime security risks endanger connectedness and are thus very likely to cause ripple effects that affect many different policy fields – in particular economic policy and development aid. It is thus very important to provide for interagency mechanisms to make sure that policy agendas driven by different stakeholders can be coordinated and harmonized. Second, activities in the maritime domain very much depend on stability and good order in other global commons, in particular the cyber domain and the space domain. However, inter-domain interdependencies are hardly understood so far. This will be analyzed with reference to the growing concern of maritime cyber insecurity. Finally, addressing today’s and tomorrow’s maritime security challenges will require close public-private interaction. This reinforces the importance of the Comprehensive Approach for the maritime community and underlines the need for a common understanding of definitions, principles, processes, and instruments to help advance public-private security cooperation in the maritime domain.
(Download the full article here: 1407_Borchert_Maritime_Security_at_Risk)