THE GULF SPECTRUM
GoGMI Journal of Maritime Research
About the Journal
The Gulf Spectrum is a flagship journal by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI), intended to provide stakeholders across the Gulf of Guinea and beyond with unique, local perspectives on critical issues surrounding maritime governance, safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea. From piracy and armed robbery at sea to marine environmental concerns such as plastic pollution, the journal will feature contributions that not only highlight the Gulf’s most pertinent ocean governance concerns, but also explore practicable approaches to addressing these, taking into consideration national and regional contexts. The journal will be published annually; however, thematic areas could run longer as single volumes. Each volume of the journal will be characterised by its own writing style in terms of referencing, word count limits, etc., based on discussions with the journal’s editorial board.
The Gulf Spectrum comes at a crucial point in the Gulf of Guinea’s history, with piratical activity at its lowest point in nearly a decade. The sudden drop in piracy and armed robbery at sea raises some key questions:
Can the drop in piratical activities be sustained?
Are criminal groups merely shifting their focus to other grey areas of maritime criminality in
the region?dit the text and include the information you would like to feature?
What interlinkages exist between the region’s broad arrays of maritime security concerns?
Beyond these security-centered concerns, the Gulf of Guinea - considered as hosting one of the world’s largest marine ecosystems - is characterised by marine environmental concerns, several of which also have notable intersections with maritime safety and security. The region’s complex and dynamic threat path points to the need to develop a more holistic understanding of its intricacies - an understanding that can only be developed if adequate efforts are put in place to consolidate research outputs and perspectives on varying facets of ocean governance in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Gulf Spectrum provides one of the most exclusive, local-driven platforms for this consolidation. By disseminating well-written, analytical pieces from authors within the Gulf of Guinea, the journal will allow its readers to explore unfolding incidents through insider lenses and to hear the voices that matter the most in shaping governance outcomes in a region that was once considered the most dangerous for seafarers across the globe.
About Volume 1: Maritime Security Interventions in the Gulf of Guinea
It is clear that maritime security debates over the past few decades have centered on the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) – a region considered the most dangerous for seafarers – and the unique conundrum it presents to maritime security cooperation. The Gulf of Guinea is crucial, not only because it is geographically cardinal to maritime trade but also because its strategic significance is largely interwoven with the interests of a large number of actors. The implications of this are as extensive and multifaceted. For instance, while it does imply a multiplicity of interests in enhancing the region’s maritime security, it equally infers the exposure of the region to a more complex set of maritime security threats, as well as a more complex set of responses to these threats. The Gulf is therefore characterised by an intricate nexus of threats and governance challenges that have resulted in varied responses from different levels of actors.
From the composite Yaoundé Architecture to the multi-actor G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, these interventions have emerged in response to the peculiar nature of maritime security challenges faced by the region and are likely to evolve as the dynamics of those challenges change over time. The implications of this proliferation of interventions are two-fold. First, it deepens the need for partnerships and collaborations across a broad range of stakeholders. Second, it heightens elements of informality and experimentation in governance approaches towards attaining shared goals within the region.
Whether such an evolution will be beneficial to advancing the multiplex of interests in the region, however, is dependent on a contextual analysis of how their discourses and practices have shaped the maritime security architecture of the region and how various actors deal with the complexities of the region’s maritime security environment. It is also dependent on a credible assessment of how efforts in the region aimed at addressing maritime security concerns can be more effectively coordinated and harnessed towards the attainment of shared interests.
This volume seeks to collate research on the complexity of maritime security interventions in the Gulf of Guinea, with the ultimate intent of illuminating viable pathways for harmonizing collective efforts towards enhancing shared goals.
Submissions will address the following thematic areas:
Evolution of Maritime Security Initiatives
Range of existing Initiatives
Actor Relations and Responses