Southeast Asia is a distinctly maritime region. Nine out of ten Southeast Asian states are coastal states, with two of them (Indonesia and the Philippines) being the world’s largest archipelagic states. Southeast Asian waters host major sea lines of communication between the Indian and Pacific oceans, and most Southeast Asian states are either major flag states, port states, or seafaring states. It is unsurprising that maritime security has always been a pressing concern for regional states, particularly as challenges continue to evolve against a backdrop of new technologies and increasingly complex geopolitical relationships. It is in this context that Southeast Asian states seek to identify their most pressing maritime governance priorities and to improve their maritime governance capacities.

The Blue Security program at La Trobe University hosted a Singapore Workshop in May 2023 to take stock of the maritime capacity of some key Southeast Asian states. The focus of the workshop was to bring together a group of emerging early-career researchers to assess the ability of regional states to provide maritime governance, identify capability gaps, and understand key opportunities for extra-regional assistance. Each researcher answered the same set of questions from the perspective of an individual Southeast Asian state:

  • What are the maritime governance priorities for STATE X?
  • What does STATE X see as the most critical maritime security challenges?
  • What are the maritime governance strengths of STATE X?
  • What are the most significant maritime security capacity gaps of STATE X?
  • What are priority areas for international cooperation that would improve maritime governance capacity in STATE X?
  • How can existing regional and minilateral security frameworks contribute to maritime governance in STATE X?

Overview analyses and evaluations of states’ maritime governance capacity are available in the following collection:

Maritime Governance Policy and Priorities in Southeast Asia  –  John Bradford and Bec Strating

Cambodia’s Maritime Governance Capacity –  Chansambath Bong

Indonesia’s Maritime Governance Capacity –  Tangguh Chairil

Malaysia’s Maritime Governance Capacity – Fikry Rahman

The Philippines’ Maritime Governance Capacity – Ivy Ganadillo

Singapore’s Maritime Governance Capacity –  Say Xian Hong

Thailand’s Maritime Governance Capacity –  Tita Sanglee

Vietnam’s Maritime Governance Capacity –  Thu Nguyen Hoang Anh