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Privatization of maritime security in Southeast Asia

Liss, C. (2007) Privatization of maritime security in Southeast Asia. In: Jäger, T. and Kümmel, G., (eds.) Private Military and Security Companies Chances, Problems, Pitfalls and Prospects. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, pp. 135-148.

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While Private Security Company (PSC) operations are often thought to be largely confined to Africa and the Middle East, many PSCs today are active in Southeast Asia. The demand for private military and security services in this region comes in part from the maritime sector. This paper explores the role of private companies in securing vessels, ports, offshore energy installations and fishing grounds across Southeast Asia. Initially, the paper discusses the overall conditions and changes in the Asian (maritime) environment which have led to the growth of PSCs offering maritime services in recent years. It then describes the companies which operate in the maritime sector, details the different types of services offered by PSCs in Southeast Asia and explains why customers may prefer to rely on private, rather than on state provided security. Looking at the work conducted by PSCs, the paper then explores the impact and influence PSCs have today within and beyond Southeast Asia. The last part of the paper discusses problems and concerns about PSCs and the maritime services they offer, looking, for example, at the agitated response from Malaysian and Indonesian authorities to newspaper articles detailing the employment of armed PSC escort vessels in the Malacca Straits. The paper concludes by suggesting that PSCs will play an increasingly important role in maritime security in Asia, but stresses that there is a need for regulation of PSCs and their work practices.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Publisher: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
Copyright: Verlag
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