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Piracy in shipping


  • Maximo Q. Mejia Jr.

    (Department of Desin Sciences/Ergonomics - Lund University [Lund], World Maritime University - Malmø University)

  • Pierre Cariou

    (World Maritime University - Malmø University, Euromed Marseille - École de management - Association Euromed Management - Marseille)

  • François-Charles Wolff

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - IEMN-IAE Nantes - Institut d'Économie et de Management de Nantes - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises - Nantes - UN - Université de Nantes)


Piracy in its various forms has posed a threat to trade and shipping for millennia. In the 1970s, a steady rise in the number of attacks ushered in the present phenomenon of modern piracy and not many parts of the world's seas are free from piracy in one form or another today. This paper reviews the historical and geographical developments of piracy in shipping, with a discussion on contentious issues involved in defining piracy. Using data available on piracy acts collected from the IMB related to 3,957 attacks that took place between 1996 and 2008, we shed light on recent changes in geography and modi operandi of acts of piracy and investigate how poverty and political instability may be seen as the root causes of piracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximo Q. Mejia Jr. & Pierre Cariou & François-Charles Wolff, 2010. "Piracy in shipping," Working Papers hal-00470616, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00470616
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