Dr Basil Germond’s latest article discusses the geopolitical dimension of maritime security, which has been neglected by scholars so far. The article analyses three practical examples of maritime security geo-strategies (texts) all released in 2014; one by the UK and two by the EU. The results demonstrate that states’ and international institutions’ maritime security objectives and interests are indirectly and directly influenced by geographical and geopolitical considerations, although this link is only tacitly acknowledged in official documents (narrative). Scholars and practitioners interested in maritime security are encouraged to further engage with this dimension at the practical and discursive level.
As an EU maritime specialist, CASS Project LeaderBasil Germond was invited to contribute to the panel on the future of NATO in counter-piracy and counter-terrorism by discussing the EU’s experience and what lessons NATO can learn from the Union. Basil’s talk stressed the different levels of readings when it comes to interpreting the narrative behind the EU’s decision to launch a counter-piracy operation at the Horn of Africa (Operation Atalanta, launched in 2008 and still ongoing): the EU as a security provider to the world (contribution to international security, i.e. protection of the sea lanes of communication), the EU as a security provider to its member states (contribution the member states’ security, i.e. protecting their maritime trade), and the EU as a geopolitical actor (normalization of security operations beyond the EU’s external boundaries).
The seminar took place at the University of Birmingham on Friday 20 September 2013. The audience was drawn from academia, government officials, the military and NGOs. It was an opportunity for Basil to discuss issues of representation (of maritime threats) in NATO’s discourses with naval practitioners and get some informal feedback on corpus methodologies.
CASS Project Leader Dr Basil Germond attended the Chiefs of European Navies (CHENS) annual meeting in Athens on the 10th of May 2013.
CHENS is an informal forum, which brings together the Chiefs of European Navies with the aim to “promote understanding between navies of the member countries, to examine issues of common and mutual interest and to increase awareness of the maritime domain in member countries”.
This year the annual meeting was hosted by the Hellenic Navy. Dr Basil Germond had the opportunity to attend the one-day plenary meeting, which concluded with the handover of CHENS’ chairmanship to the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
Basil’s CASS project on ‘Maritime Security Discourses in Europe’ will highly benefit from this meeting, both in terms of networking and acknowledgement of actual common centres of interest. Indeed, CHENS has recognised the importance of Navies’ strategic communication, hence their interest in language use and representation issues.
The CASS Project led by Basil will investigate the link between the production of geographical knowledge (by the European Union, its Member States and their navies) and the normalization of the practice of projecting security beyond the Union’s external boundary, with an emphasis on the discourse on maritime security and piracy.