Terrorism and Piracy in Nigeria and Somalia as Social Movements

Dr. Patricia Schneider

In her latest article, Dr. Patricia Schneider applies social movement theory to piracy and terrorism as a common conceptual roof, contextualizing and theorizing these phenomena. The cases of Nigeria and Somalia were chosen because pirate and terrorist groups are or have been active in the maritime domain in both countries, posing a problem for the international shipping community. In addition, these cases are special insofar as pirate and terrorist groups in these countries have used powerful narratives to underpin an attitude of social protest to legitimize their violence. The article critically examines whether the characteristics and modes of social movement theory apply to these cases and outlines the possible benefits and limits. It further includes perspectives from other conceptual frameworks from philosophy, sociology, and psychology. The analysis concludes that the concepts can add to our understanding of the phenomena of maritime violence. It helps us to view these groups not merely as risk factors and addressees of security governance but through the lens of social protest and the mechanisms and dynamics outlined by social movement theory.


Patricia Schneider (2020): When Protest Goes to Sea: Theorizing Maritime Violence by Applying Social Movement Theory to Terrorism and Piracy in the Cases of Nigeria and Somalia. In: Ocean Development & International Law, Taylor & Francis, published online 10 July 2020.

Link: doi.org/10.1080/00908320.2020.1781383



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