Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Clifford Brown




indian, ocean, nations, piracy, affairs


The Indian Ocean contains several important arteries of the global trade networks such as the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca. These lanes are of critical importance to the economic health of various powerful nations as well as to the ability of these countries to project military power in the region. My thesis will examine the problem of maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean both off of Somalia and in the Malacca Straits of Southeast Asia. Currently, the Indian Ocean lacks a hegemon that can dominate affairs throughout. One consequence of this has been the emergence of pirates that operate near the "chokepoints" of these sea lanes in order to tap into the plethora of shipping traffic. Because piracy threatens global economic health, many nations have joined forces to defeat and remove the pirates. While the fight against piracy has encouraged cooperation among state-actors, it also provides powerful nations seeking dominance in the Indian Ocean (primarily the US, China, and India) with a pretext for power projection and increased influence in regional affairs.