On several occasions in world history, piracy and other forms of maritime violence have been institutionalized, that is, taken the form of large-scale ventures with fixed land bases and complex hierarchical organizations, high levels of regional or global market integration and sustained activities spanning several decades or even centuries. Such institutionalization has occurred in a variety of historical and cultural settings and has even, at times, taken the form of embryonic state formation, typically involving a relatively stable social and political order, the adaption of state-like symbols by leading strata of the perpetrators, a degree of cultural coherence among the population involved and a measure of international legitimacy and recognition. In addition, established states have often sponsored piratical activity (such as privateering) and other forms of illicit maritime violence perpetrated by non-state actors as a means to project sea power. In some cases the use of illicit maritime violence has even been a key feature of the early state formation process.
The conference aims to explore, from an inter-disciplinary, transnational and inter-sectional perspective, why piracy and maritime violence under certain historical circumstances have been institutionalized. A particular focus of interest is the relation between maritime violence and state formation. The emphasis of the conference theme is on historical studies, regardless of time period or geographic region, but scholarly contributions from any discipline are welcomed, as are theoretically oriented and comparative studies.
To submit a proposal for a paper or session, please send a title and abstract of up to 300 words to Professor Leos Müller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for the submission of proposals is 30 November 2011.
Leos Müller, Professor
Department of History/Centre for Maritime Studies
SE-106 91 Stockholm
tel 46(0)8-674 7102
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