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Type: Theses
Title: Indian Ocean maritime security: risk-based international policy development
Author: Cordner, Lee George
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: The importance of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as a geopolitical focal area is increasingly being recognized. The strategic interests of multiple actors involved in the IOR overlap and converge at sea to a significant extent. The major maritime trade routes of the Indian Ocean are central to extra and intraregional trade that is vital to the global economy. The primary coalescing factor for the IOR is the interconnected, systemic nature of the regional and global maritime context. Requirements to husband the Indian Ocean environment, protect freedom of navigation, maintain maritime territorial sovereignty, and impose law and order at sea across the entire maritime expanse should support a strong case for regionalism. Comprehensive, collective and cooperative maritime security is a paramount requirement for the future of the IOR. A foundational tenet of this work recognizes that the interests of IOR actors, mainly regional and external nation-states along with other international and non-government participants come together to a significant extent at sea. Common risks and shared vulnerabilities to the achievement of mutual objectives in the Indian Ocean maritime domain are substantial and will continue to mount. In the complex and dynamic IOR context with its diverse geography and lack of effective regionalism, known for divisions and dissonance rather than unity and coherence, formulating realistic, workable approaches to providing effective maritime security presents significant challenges. This thesis critically analyzes IOR maritime security risks and vulnerabilities and assesses the utility of risk-based approaches, in concert with other approaches, in developing policy proposals to enhance maritime security. Regional maritime security governance options are explored. The intent of this thesis is to make a significant contribution toward filling a gap in IOR maritime security international policy research, and to advocate policy solutions. One such policy area involves investigating the nexus between maritime security, economic development and the forecast environmental implications of climate change on vast and vulnerable coastal populations, and on marine resources. Climate change impacts, particularly in the coastal zone and for low lying islands, present existential risks that are likely to require responses beyond the capabilities of individual or collective IOR states; this has the potential to generate enormous security challenges in the medium term. There are clear requirements for security-focused cooperative dialogue entities in the IOR driven by the scale of emerging maritime security challenges. A core, initial objective for enhancing maritime security in the IOR, advocated by this research as a constructive way forward, should be to commission a sophisticated and appropriately resourced risk analysis. Credible risk assessments can provide the bases for developing cooperative and collective regional strategies to treat risks and reduce vulnerabilities. A major outcome of the research is the presentation of insights into the utility of risk-based approaches in developing policy options that can help persuade key decision-makers to take collective and cooperative security actions in a complex international context.
Advisor: Doyle, Timothy
Rumley, Dennis
Jayasuriya, Kanishka
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2015
Keywords: Indian ocean
maritime security
international security
maritime policy
defense cooperation
risk management
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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