The Moral Economy of Somali Piracy – Organised Criminal Business or Subsistence Activity?

Klein, Axel (2013) The Moral Economy of Somali Piracy – Organised Criminal Business or Subsistence Activity? Global Policy, 4 (1). pp. 94-100. ISSN 1758-5880. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-5899.2012.00192.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-5899.2012.00192.x

Abstract

Somali piracy is increasingly explained in terms of organised criminal business. This article argues that piracy does not constitute a business and the analogy with organised crime is misleading and can obstruct the search for a long term settlement. Dismissing the underlying grievance, the destruction of Somali fisheries by foreign trawlers, with literalist explanations such as ‘pirates are rarely fishermen’ and ‘most targets are cargo ships’, ignores its function as a ‘legitimating notion’. The concept of ‘moral economy’ is used to explain how along the coast but also within the diaspora the identity of Somalis as victims is used to legitimize pirate activities. International responses should therefore focus actively and symbolically on reconstructing livelihoods along the coast, instead of seeking security sector and criminal justice solution. This is possible and cost effective because Somali piracy is a subsistence activity driven by lack of employment and investment opportunities, and provides a limited economic stimulus for coastal micro economies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2013 08:53 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2014 08:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/33574 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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