somebody's gotta do it
Well, here's what I can say at the end of week one of interviewing people about piracy off the coast of Somalia: academic research on pirates is pretty much the most fun academic thing I've ever done. It's also confirmation of the fact that I am absolutely in the right field and profession. Today I went up to Oxford to visit The Peacekeeper (who is now in fact a doctoral student) and realized about halfway down Broad Street that we'd just had a completely animated and fascinating conversation about rational actors and the pirates' business model before moving on to talk about her research on peace building.
Nerd, thy name is Africanist.
If I told you all the fun things I'm learning about pirates, there wouldn't be much data left for our article, so you'll just have to wait. In the meantime, here's an interesting piece from the BBC on how pirate attacks and negotiations proceed that should give you the idea.