Contemporary Maritime Piracy in Southeast Asia: History, Causes and Remedies

Adam Young


"Adam Young seeks to bridge the gap between history, policy and cultural studies with one of the field's first single-authored volumes. By placing regional piracy firmly in its historical and cultural context, the author seeks to improve understanding of its causes and to offer new perspectives from which to develop counter-piracy policy. Young clearly elucidates how social forces such as poverty, globalization, corruption and weak governance contribute to contemporary piracy. This analysis is important because few previous works have covered this ground, instead assuming that readers would take causal relationships for granted. Young thereby lays the foundations for an important analytic bridge. Its broad approach makes it a useful primer for individuals approaching Southeast Asian piracy from an historical or regional studies perspective; its linkage of cultural tradition, geopolitical factors, development studies and policy formation makes it an especially important work for anyone engaged in the fields of maritime or Southeast Asian security affairs" (International Journal of Maritime History).

"Young has drawn together a substantial literature upon the subject and writes with clarity"(Aseasuk News).

About the Publication

This book explores contemporary maritime piracy in Southeast Asia, demonstrating the utility of using historical context in developing policy approaches that will address the roots of this resurgent phenomenon. The depth and breadth of historical piracy help highlight causative factors of contemporary piracy, which are immersed in the socio-cultural matrix of maritime-oriented peoples to whom piracy is still a thinkable option. The threats to life and property posed by piracy are relatively low, but significant given the strategic nature of these waterways that link the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and because piracy is emblematic of broader issues of weak state control in the littoral states of the region. Maritime piracy will never be completely eliminated, but with a progressive economic and political agenda aimed at changing the environment from which piracy is emerging, it could once again become the exception rather than the rule.