Author Biography

Jonathan Beloff graduated from New York University with his Masters of Science in Global Affairs with a concentration on International Development and Humanitarian Research. He received his Bachelors of Arts with the honors of magna cum lude and Dean's Honor in Political Science with a concentration in Economics from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. His academic concentration is on economic development and international relations of the Great Lakes Region as well as the Horn of Africa. From his work as an Assistant Research for Yad Vashem, he has traveled to over twenty-five countries around the World researching Holocaust, genocide, and terrorism. In the near future he will be working for the Rwanda Governance Board in Kigali.



Subject Area Keywords

Africa, Civil war and internal conflict, Counterterrorism, Development and security, Economics, Regional conflict


The international community has united in its mission to halt the hijacking of merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea with a massive naval presence that monitors the vast, strategic seas in which Somali pirates operate. This naval presence consequently has had some success in reducing pirate attacks in 2012, but why are the Somalis turning to piracy in the first place? The economic history of piracy has been well documented with other former “pirate hotspots” worldwide; however, there is little data available on the microeconomic affects of piracy. This article explores the underlying reasons of why Somalis have turned to piracy as a “profession,” and offers recommendations for the international community to eliminate piracy effectively through non-military means.