The Maritime Piracy Index

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.)


Criminal Justice


William L. Tafoya

Committee Member

Jonathan Kringen

Committee Member

Charles Morgan

LC Subject Headings


Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS36.N290 Crim. Just. 2018 no.2


Maritime piracy is a transnational crime that plagues our navigable seas. Research on this topic has generally evaluated the root causes of piracy using a qualitative method, with most studies focused on one country or region. Bearing that in mind, this study will provide a quantitative understanding of factors that influence the frequency of maritime piracy. Open sourced data from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA), the World Bank (WB), the United Nations (UN), and Center for Systemic Peace will be analyzed. The study will use a non-probability sampling technique in which eleven countries with reported cases of maritime piracy will be purposefully selected. These countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Using multivariate regression features, socioeconomic and geopolitical data from these countries will be evaluated over a longitudinal period of thirty years (1985-2014). A Time-Series Cross-Sectional Design (TSCS) will be chosen as a means to gain an in-depth understanding of factors that affect the frequency of these piracy occurrences. The results of the study identified that male youth unemployment rates, total population size, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and fish exports values (USD) were associated with the intensity of pirating activity worldwide. Policy implications and research limitations will be discussed.