A new definition of piracy in South East Asia required?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Centre for Security Research, Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering / Security Research Centre




Kevans, P.J., & Bailey, W. (2008). A new definition of piracy in South East Asia required? In Proceedings of the 1st Australian Security and Intelligence Conference. (pp. 61 - 75) Perth, Australia: Centre for Security Research, Edith Cowan University.


Many experts consider that Piracy is a serious problem in South East Asia region and that this impacts on both world trade and the economy generally. However, there is another school of thought that indicates because of the way 'piracy' is defined it includes what are in fact incidents that should be classified as crimes by another name. The issue appears to be the definition of what is 'piracy'? Furthermore, the reluctance of some countries to take part in international initiatives or allow external powers to be involved in the process is also in question. They c onsider it to be an infringement of their national sovereignty; therefore they deem it to have greater geopolitical ends rather than a way to control the problem of piracy. These waters also have serious social and economical constraints that limit their involvement to effectively mitigate the issue. I The response to reducing piracy incidents is neither insular nor simple; the social constructs need to be considered in providing a greater understanding of what piracy actually means in the wider context. This will allow the actual problem of 'real piracy' to be dealt with effectively and not to waste resources on what could be classified as 'petty' crime. This paper recommends that a new definition of 'piracy is required in order to establish a new direction for combating piracy.

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