Author Biography

Robert Farley is an assistant professor in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. He studies international security, with an emphasis on maritime issues. His work has been published in The American Prospect, Foreign Policy, and The Guardian: Comment is Free.

Yoav Gortzak is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University. He studies international relations, with a particular emphasis on international security issues. He is currently working on a book manuscript about the use of indigenous forces in counterinsurgency operations. His work has been published in Security Studies and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.



Subject Area Keywords

Africa, Gangs and criminal organizations, Maritime piracy, Southeast Asia, Transnational crime


The recent surge in acts of maritime piracy in the waters off the Horn of Africa stands in sharp contrast to a steep decline of such acts in Southeast Asia. In this study, we compare the development of the problem of piracy in both Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. We find that four main elements contributed to the recent decline in piracy in Southeast Asia: U.S. hegemonic interests, existing and emergent international institutions, bilateral relations among regional actors, and the density of naval forces in the region. Unfortunately, not all of these conditions are present in the Horn of Africa. Thus, the problem of piracy in that region will require new and innovative solutions.