Stefan Eklöf Amirell was a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University, from September 2003 to August 2005. He took his Ph D in history at Lund University in 2002 with a dissertation about the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and the Decline of Suharto's New Order regime. He is the author of the books Pirates in Paradise (2006), Power and Political Culture in Suharto's Indonesia (2003) and Indonesian Politics in Crisis (1999), as well as several articles and book chapters on Southeast Asian politics and history.
Piracy in Southeast Asia: Contemporary Trends and Controlling Options
Piracy in Southeast Asia: Contemporary Trends and Controlling Options Since the early 1980s, a sharp increase in the incidence of piracy and armed robbery against ships has become a major threat to maritime trade and security in Southeast Asia, and the region currently accounts for close to half of all reported attacks worldwide. The real numbers, however, are significantly higher than the reported figures, and over the last 25 years at least hundreds and probably thousands of seafarers in the region have been killed at the hands of pirates. Apart from being a concern for the shipping industry, piracy poses a threat to the human security and development in maritime Southeast Asia, as well as to international maritime traffic and trade.
The project evaluates the reasons for the increase in, and the changing character of, Southeast Asian piracy in the post-war period with particular focus on the period from 1980 to 2005. It also assesses the efforts that have been made so far to suppress piracy in the region. Four main questions are pursued in the study:
1. What are the probable numbers and geographic distribution of piracy and armed robbery in Southeast Asia?
2. What explains the sharp rise in Southeast Asian piracy since the early 1980s?
3. Which concrete measures have so far been taken to suppress piracy and why have these been efficient or not, as it were?
4. Which have been the main problems and obstacles against international cooperation to suppress piracy?
The main results of the project were published in the monograph Pirates in Paradise: A Modern History of Southeast Asia’s Modern Marauders (Copenhagen: NIAS Press 2006). For more information, please visit the book’s website at