Southeast Asia contains some of the world's busiest shipping waters, particularly the Indonesian archipelago, the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea. The natural geography and human ecology of maritime Southeast Asia makes the area particularly apt for piracy. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that these waters are also the world's most pirate-infested, accounting for over a third of the total number of pirate attacks world-wide.
The figures have increased in recent years, as transnationally organized crime syndicates have extended their activities in the area. Meanwhile, the capacity of the state authorities in the region to suppress piracy appears to have declined, fuelling suspicions that sections of the maritime authorities are colluding with some of the organized pirate gangs that they are supposed to be combating. Not surprisingly, piracy has a long history in the region, and in several instances during the last 250 years, pirates have disrupted peaceful trade and communications.
This text traces the shifting character and development of Southeast Asian piracy from the 18th century to the present day, demonstrating how political, economic, social and technological factors have contributed to change - but have by no means exterminated - the phenomenon.
Cover Type: Softcover
Page Count: 184
Year Published: 2006