Piracy in Southeast Asia: A Historical Comparison
By Ger Teitler, University of Amsterdam and the Royal Netherlands Naval College
The last decade has witnessed in Southeast Asia an upsurge of piracy. Especially
worrisome is the growing interconnectedness of this phenomenon with other forms of
international crime and with politically motivated insurgencies. There has been no lack
of (scholarly) attention for this situation. Less well known is the fact that during the nine-
teenth century several colonial governments in Southeast Asia, but especially the Dutch,
were confronted with piracy on a very large scale. This article tries to elucidate the present
situation by drawing comparisons with the past experiences of the Dutch. Special attention
is paid to the process of state formation and to the international context of both piracy and
piracy fighting.

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