, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 73-84

The Global Governance of Maritime Piracy


Within less than a decade piracy has been turned from a marginal economic problem into a global security problem. The effective governance of piracy represents a vital need for the international community. Two aspects of this governance are particularly important and are broadly highlighted in the present work: a prescriptive type of governance, or how piracy should be disciplined according to international law, and a descriptive kind of governance, concerning what is rather than what should be, which is closely linked to international relations dynamics. For an effective management—and solution—of the piracy problem, it is underlined how there are obstacles of both legal and practical natures, but that these, in conclusion, may be surmounted by the presence of a major State willingness to act. The governance of piracy is still more and more influenced by momentary interests and by geopolitical dynamics, than by the actual dimension and dangerousness of modern day pirates. International law evolves slowly in a rapidly changing world, and the overlapping regime covering piracy may represent a barrier to the solution of the issue because it does not comprise a coherent and comprehensive anti-piracy regime.