Collaboration at Sea: Maritime Security in East Asia

Maritime security is high on regional as well as international agenda. It has been extensively discussed with regards to our global economy’s large and increasing need for safe sea lanes for trade and energy transport.

Safe sea lanes have become a critical issue in East Asia not least as a result of China’s more assertive positioning in the South China Sea. Policy discussions on how to handle piracy and the Arctic-question have circulated internationally as well as in Swedish media.

Other questions of concern, not least for Asia, is the management of sovereignty, the definition of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), management of fish-stock, how the maritime environment is to be protected, and how coast guards can cooperate.

However, most of the research conducted today focuses on security risks, problems and differences. Often focus is put on military strategies and on how to balance risks.

The aim with this project is to reverse the “traditional” approach. Instead of focusing on the negatives, it will focus on how one can cooperate around maritime cross-border problems. Thus the project title: “Collaboration at Sea”.

The project received initiation funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond to cover the cost of an initial workshop. The workshop was jointly organised by the so-called “Stockholm Asia Security Group” in Stockholm 1-2 June 2012. Collaboration at Sea: Maritime Security in East Asia Workshop Programme.

The group consists of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), the European Institute of Japanese Studies and the China Economic Research Center (CERC) at the Stockholm School of Economics, and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The aim of the initial workshop was to deepen existing cooperation, to extend cooperation to include selected researchers and research institutes in Asia and Europe, and to produce research output.

Project Leader: Mikael Weissmann

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