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The Business of Piracy in Somalia

Author

Listed:
  • Sarah Percy
  • Anja Shortland

Abstract

This article argues that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control Somali piracy for four reasons. First, Somali piracy is a land-based problem and naval control mechanisms are not changing the incentives for pirates. Second, improving Somalia's anarchic political situation will not necessarily stop piracy. Our analysis demonstrates that piracy is a business which improves with a more stable operating environment. Third, piracy is organized criminal activity, and like other organized crime groups will be difficult to control, especially if it becomes embedded in state structures. Finally, we argue that few of the relevant players have any real incentives to alter their behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Percy & Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1033, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1033
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.358500.de/dp1033.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olaf J. de Groot & Matthew D. Rablen & Anja Shortland, 2011. "Gov-aargh-nance - "even criminals need law and order"," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 11-01, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    2. Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(23), pages 182-186.
    3. Anja Shortland, 2011. ""Robin Hook": The Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 11-07, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    4. Shortland, Anja & Vothknecht, Marc, 2011. "Combating “maritime terrorism” off the coast of Somalia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages 133-151.
    5. Stig Jarle Hansen & Mark Bradbury, 2007. "Somaliland: A New Democracy in the Horn of Africa?," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(113), pages 461-476, September.
    6. Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
    7. Varese, Federico, 2001. "The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297369.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The economics of piracy in Somalia
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-08-23 19:33:00
    2. Weekly Wisdom Roundup 93: A Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web
      by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2010-08-30 01:35:30

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Olaf J. de Groot & Matthew D. Rablen & Anja Shortland, 2011. "Gov-aargh-nance - "even criminals need law and order"," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 11-01, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    2. Anja Shortland & Federico Varese, 2012. "The Business of Pirate Protection," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 75, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Singh Currun & Bedi Arjun Singh, 2013. "Regional Dimensions of Somali Piracy and Militant Islamism: Anthropological and Econometric Evidence," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 369-380, December.
    4. Christian Schubert & Leonhard K. Lades, 2014. "Fighting maritime piracy: three lessons from pompeius magnus," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 481-497, October.
    5. Shortland, Anja & Vothknecht, Marc, 2011. "Combating “maritime terrorism” off the coast of Somalia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages 133-151.
    6. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Sami Bensassi, 2013. "The Price Of Modern Maritime Piracy," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 397-418.
    7. Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(23), pages 182-186.
    8. Singh, C. & Bedi, A.S., 2012. "‘War on piracy’: the conflation of Somali piracy with terrorism in discourse, tactic and law," ISS Working Papers - General Series 543, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    9. Jablonski, Ryan S. & Oliver, Steven, 2013. "The political economy of plunder: economic opportunity and modern piracy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 50451, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Edmund Byrne, 2011. "Business Ethics Should Study Illicit Businesses: To Advance Respect for Human Rights," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(4), pages 497-509, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Piracy; Somalia; Law Enforcement; Organised Crime; EU Atalanta;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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