Responding to international terrorism: the securitisation of the United Kingdom’s ports.

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    It was less than a week after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks that the then Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), William O’Neil, noted that international terrorism represented a threat to the maritime industry. Speaking at a conference on safety in maritime transport, O’Neil commented that, “in the longer term, it is clear that security measures surrounding all forms of transport will have to be re-examined and re-assessed in the light of this tragedy. We are all potential targets of terrorist activity” (O’Neil, 2001).1 A little under three years later, on 1 July 2004, this re-examination and re-assessment was most clearly illustrated when the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code came in to force. Developed within the IMO and introduced internationally for added consistency, the ISPS Code encapsulated a new security regime which, to name just three examples, included Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO), Ship Security Plans (SSP) and restricted zones within ports.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-462
    Number of pages20
    JournalThe British Journal of Politics & International Relations
    Issue number2
    Early online date15 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


    • port security
    • securitisation
    • United Kingdom
    • ‘war on terror’
    • maritime security


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