[PAST EVENT] "Piracy in Somalia and the Indian Ocean: Good vs. Bad?" by Dr. Abdi Samatar

February 14, 2014
Tucker Hall, 127A
350 James Blair Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Piracy in Somalia has been poorly understood and consequently the international strategy designed to curtail it has worked only partially. Because of this mismatch some of the pirates have extended their exploits deep into the Indian Ocean. This lecture provides an analysis which shows that several pirate types driven by different logics have operated along the Somali coast and all but one of these pirates emerged as a result of Somali state's disintegration. In contrast, pirates in other Third World regions operate under established states. Therefore, we argue that piracy is not only a matter of robbery in the high seas, but that political economy/political ecology and conflict over resources has been fundamental to the rise of piracy in the region. The lecture offers a more refined assessment of the piracy in the region as well as a critical appraisal of the moral economy of Somali pirates which yields an alternative method of understanding and curbing the problem.

Dr. Abdi Samatar is the President of the National African Studies Association and Dean of the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of An African Miracle published by Heinemann that was a finalist for the 2000 Herskovits Prize.