Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: Measuring Challenges and Progress

Only by seeking to measure maritime security dynamics in uniform and rigorous ways can we begin to understand the scope of the challenges and make progress.

By Jay Benson

In the realm of foreign and security policy, the maritime space is often overlooked. “Sea blindness” is real and it is often reflected in the amount of resources and policy attention paid to maritime security and governance around the world. However, as the maritime space gains attention as a theater for nontraditional security challenges and as space of increasingly important economic potential, so too does the need to empirically measure the scope of the challenges and the progress made in the maritime space. There are a plethora of indices, databases, and empirical reporting available on security and governance issues onshore, which contribute greatly to the understanding of policymakers on these phenomena, but the maritime space has yet to see the same application of empirical methods and analysis.

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