The assessment that violent attacks against maritime trade have the potential to have serious consequences for the global trade system forms the basis of the research project.

Against this background, the research project PiraT (Piracy and Maritime Terrorism as a Challenge for Maritime Trade Security: Indicators, Perceptions and Options for Action) will deal with the dangers of maritime terrorism and piracy for the German economy.

The goal of PiraT is first of all, to increase the general understanding of the complexity of contemporary maritime trade security and its importance as a relevant area of concern for society as a whole. Secondly the expectations and needs of the affected actors for security services in the future have to be clarified. Thirdly, options for a coordinated approach to increasing maritime trade security, considering the available margin for maneuvers and restrictions, will be developed and combined within the framework of a package of measures in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental actors.

The main thought behind the project is that with the complexity of contemporary risks and dangers the need grows (first) to deal with them in an interdisciplinary way and (second) to develop innovative coordinated approaches for an effective and efficient package of measures.

The understanding of today’s paramount transnational dangers, such as the aggregate of maritime trade, terrorism and piracy requires taking a variety of continuously changing influence- and context-factors into account, when researching this topic.

These factors range from actor-based scenarios of the causes, motivations and the basic conditions for non-state violence through the capacities and available space for the insecurity-actors to the degree of direct and indirect vulnerability of those on the side being attacked.

PiraT aims to provide a forum in which representatives of politics, business and academia can exchange views and share knowledge on maritime trade security. These exchanges   will serve as case studies for examining and expanding the concept of “Security Governance”. It will develop indicators for evaluating specific risk perceptions as well as mechanisms for joint risk analysis. It will also draw up a catalogue of non-military options that will enable a coordinated approach.


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