German narratives of the pirate in Somalia
in Romantic narratives in international politics
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Chapter two analyses German narratives of the pirate in Somalia. It sets off by tracing the romantic stories about pirates from the early eighteenth century and the golden age of piracy to current history writing on piracy. The chapter goes on to show that these early romantic elements persist into Byron’s The Corsair, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and the film Pirates of the Caribbean. The following section goes on to show that this dominant western popular image of the romantic pirate, visible also in public opinion, persists in the media reporting on contemporary piracy in the German news media. Employing the method of narrative analysis the chapter re-tells a romantic story of the pirate in Somalia set in an exotic location, and revolving around brave pirates who are forced into piracy not out of their free will but due to circumstances beyond their control such as illegal fishing or the dumping of toxic waste by more powerful western companies. The next part turns to alternative stories which try and tell a highly negative story which link piracy and terrorism. Part four then illustrates the marginalization of this story despite the potential truthfulness and the persistence of the romantic story.

Romantic narratives in international politics

Pirates, rebels and mercenaries

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