Research & Analysis

Empirical Trends in Peace
By One Earth Future on November 2, 2015

Is a world without war possible in the 21st century?Trends in armed conflict and a developing body of social scientific research suggest that this idea is plausible.Based on a discussion of high-level experts held in 2014, this report reviews the existing research on peace and conflict to argue that peace is an achievable goal for the globe.Current systems for human security have largely succeeded in reducing the risk of war, and if these systems are extended and sustained then it is possible that the world will reach a stable system without war.This report lays out three initial starting p

Causes and Outcomes of Coup during Civil War
By Curtis Bell, Jun Koga Sudduth on October 1, 2015

Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes. We conduct the first empirical analysis of the relationship between ongoing civil war and coup activity, finding (1) war increases the risk of a coup attempt, though (2) war-time coup attempts are significantly less likely to be successful, and (3) the risk of war-time coup is much higher when states face stronger rebel groups that pose greater threats to the political survival of the incumbent government.

Rebels and Service Provision
By Danielle F. Jung, Lindsay Heger on September 29, 2015

When rebels provide social services, do they have more leverage negotiating the terms of a peace deal? The literature suggests service-providing groups may, on average, have a wider base of support and a more centralized organizational structure. We argue that these features deter potential spoilers from breaking away from the organization during negotiation processes. This, in turn, makes governments more willing to enter negotiations since the threat from spoilers is smaller.

on September 3, 2015

The joint survey of UNODC and OBP finds that:

• Poor economic conditions were reported as the major reason for engaging in piracy, and long-term solutions to piracy should address this.

• Prisoners report being very impacted by prison, and express a strong desire to avoid future prison time.

• International navies, more than any other counter-piracy activity, were listed as the primary deterrent. Armed guards aboard ships were also frequently listed.

Non-State Actors in Maritime Security Policy Brief
By Jens Vestergaard Madsen on August 27, 2015

As part of an ongoing lessons-learned project based on Oceans Beyond Piracy’s work with the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, OEF Research is documenting the potential role of non-state actors in maritime security. Based on this work, in November 2014 OEF Research staff participated in a research workshop organized under the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program. This workshop focused on questions of communication and coordination in maritime security, with an eye to improving NATO maritime strategy and maritime security more broadly.

Strengthening Maritime Security
By Jens Vestergaard Madsen on July 20, 2015

Non-state actors have a strong counter-piracy role for the maritime sector, potentially greater than the role they play in land-based problems. They can provide direct services, or serve as the coordinators for networked structures to address collective problems. The process for engaging with non-state actors can take time, but systems interested in addressing maritime problems should consider formal outreach activities to bring them onboard.

Prosecuting pirates
By Jon Belish on June 15, 2015

This chapter was published as part of the book Prosecuting Maritime Piracy, editors Michael P. Scharf, Michael Newton, and Milena Sterio (Cambridge University Press). The book addresses distinctive issues that arise during the course of domestic maritime piracy prosecutions.

Maritime Piracy 2014
By Matthew R. Walje, Kellie Brandt, Peter Kerins, Megan Matthews, Tyler Maybee on June 10, 2015

This report is the fifth in a series by Oceans Beyond Piracy with support from OEF Research.These reports annually seek to assess the cost of maritime piracy - both economic and human - to the international community. Somali piracy off the Horn of Africa is one area of focus; following is piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. New this year is an analysis of the human cost of piracy in Southeast Asia.

Social evolution
By Peter D. Taylor on April 29, 2015

The persistence of altruism and spite remains an enduring problem of social evolution. It is well known that selection for these actions depends on the structure of the population—that is, on actors' genetic relationships to recipients and to the ‘neighbourhood’ impacted by their actions. Less appreciated, however, is that population structure can cause genetic asymmetries between partners whereby the relatedness (defined relative to the neighbourhood) of an individual i to a partner j will differ from the relatedness of j to i.

on April 6, 2015

OBP explores the the circumstances surrounding the seizure and detention of two Iranian-owned fishing vessels captured near Hobyo on 21 March 2015.