Solving the "Wicked Problems" of Maritime Security: Are Regional Forums up to the Task?
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 33, Number 1, April 2011
- pp. 1-28
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Maritime security is a major concern in the Asia Pacific, yet is riddled with highly complex "wicked problems" that have thus far defied solution. These include different interpretations of the Law of the Sea underpinning regional maritime security, the lack of good order at sea, numerous conflicting claims to maritime jurisdiction, the implications of increased naval activity in the region and the lack of agreed maritime boundaries. This article identifies major wicked problems and reflects on the likelihood that they will be successfully addressed in regional forums. It finds some optimistic indications of a greater preparedness to address these issues than has been the case in the past. However, much will depend on whether existing mindsets can change to allow regional countries to corporate more effectively with regards to maritime security. The article concludes with the proposal that an Asian Peace Research Institute should be established to promote more independent thinking and greater cooperation.