Pirates, privateers and politicans. British eagerness and Dutch reluctance towards privatisation of maritime security, 2006-2013

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This thesis attempts to explain the variation in anti-piracy policies between European trade-oriented nations. Over the last eight years most of these nations turned to the provision of private armed guards on board vessels to protect their commercial interests against Somali piracy. Whilst six years ago almost all European states with a big maritime industry prohibited the use of private armed guards (PAGs), today all of these nations do allow them, with one exception: the Netherlands. To examine this phenomenon a most similar system design analysis between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is conducted. This research shows that neorealist International Relations theory cannot explain the difference in behaviour of both states. By conceptualizing the phenomenon of maritime piracy as a socially constructed shared collection of representations and identities, constructivism offers a alternative theoretical perspective for analysing this matter. Following the theorization of Jutta Weldes (1996)enabled us to identify the attitude of state officials towards the piracy problem; the privatisation of security as a policy; and the private military industry (PMI) as a (new) actor in the international community. Using the method of Critical Frame Analysis, research is conducted on various key policy documents between 2010 and 2013. The results find that there is a significant different in the way both nations have framed the problem and the involved actors. This difference can be identified as a decisive factor because this framing has influenced the way in which state officials perceived viable and appropriate policy options. Finally, this paper attempts to explain this difference in framing by uncovering a underlying layer of deeper values within both societies towards the private military companies and the Royal Navy.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen