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The Maritime Terrorism Risk and Liability Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Mar 31st, 2022

The title of this research is appropriate to the extent that it generalizes what the research is all abouti.e. The content of the research (risk and liability in connection with maritime terrorist attacks on or involving passenger and containerized shipping). The title is also very specific as it highlights on maritime terrorism as opposed to general terrorism of which the research is about. The research however does not give the background of the author’s in terms of their areas of specialization in relation to maritime terrorism in order to determine if they were best fit to carryout the research.

Research Question

The research describes in detail aspects of maritime terrorism but does not clearly state the research question to be explored. However, in the summary part of the research paper there is several questions implied as to be guiding the research. These questions may include:

  1. the nature of maritime radical/terrorist dangers and matching vulnerabilities;
  2. the impending consequences/outcomes that might come after an attack;
  3. the relationship between threat, susceptibility, and effects in assessing marine danger; and
  4. The way in which the United States of America social liability organizations might react in the aftermath of a marine radical attack

Study objective

The main objective of this paper, is to address challenges associated by maritime terrorism by providing insight on:

  1. The nature of maritime terrorist threats and corresponding vulnerabilities.
  2. The potential consequences that might follow from an attack
  3. The interplay between threat, vulnerability, and consequences in determining maritime risk
  4. The manner in which U.S. civil liability institutions might respond in the aftermath of a maritime terrorist attack


There is actually no hypothesis that the research intend to prove or test. However, the research paper argues around a center topic of risk and liability in connection with maritime terrorist attacks on or involving passenger and containerized shipping.The paper thesis seeks to analyze and understand the risks and vulnerability associated with maritime terrorism. The general hypothesis implied in this paper is that if there is an actual risk associated with maritime terrorism.

“So What” Question

The “so what” question seeks to pre-empt what the topic of the research is all about. The author of has tackled this question in detail showing risk and liability connected with maritime terrorism.

The research paper attempts to answer the topic question, which is the main centre of the argument in the research paper. This research has tried to explore the dangers that come with attacks travelers and container transport by evaluating correlated threats and susceptibility based on past data. More over the research paper extensively describes human, material and economic elements in the maritime business are affected by the terrorism acts in question. To this effect the paper answers the “so what” question extensively.

The study was worth doing as it unveils the new kind terrorism, which has never been addressed before. The study also shows the vulnerability of commercial ships, cruiseships, and human passengers to this new kind of threat. The paper has also tackled assessment of impacts of this kind of terrorism act. It gives recommendation on the civil liability and the greatest risk in maritime environment. However, the study is biased in its application to American confinement only as opposed to have a worldwide application of the recommendations. The research admits this bias or preconceived notion as majority of terrorist assaults taking place in United States territory or waters and on the high seas is probable to be subject to United States control and, in most occasions, may be dependent on federal admiralty regulations.

Uniqueness of the Paper

The paper is unique in much aspect. One such aspect is in its structure in which it was written. The research paper does not follow the sequence of traditional thesis or research writing methods. The research questions are not clearly stated and there is no hypothesis to that effect. The sequence in chapter flow as in traditional research model does not apply in this case. The research paper only implies the objective but it is not clear. Key recommendations appear before even the discussion of the main agenda of the paper and at the end, which is unusual for a conventional research paper.

The paper is also unique in the sense that it explores a new kind of phenomena that has never been assessed. The author therefore explore risks involves in cruise passer ships that which is a new kind of terrorism in modern times.

Literature Review

The literature review is not shown is the research and no reference is clearly shown in the paper. Instead, the research is based on relevant historical data and intelligence reports available to argue the main agenda of the research. This pose a problem in that the reader is not able to refer to any written material to compare and analyze in details the subject of discussion since the literature review is not clearly provided. The paper at this section ought to bring into view other perspectives and argument given by different authors in the same topic. In the literature review arguments concerning maritime terrorism has to be build based on historical studies and writing so that the author may then give his point of view concerning the topic. Literature review in this research has however not been done to the required standard as no other studies have been illustrated on the very topic of maritime terrorism.


The methodology of this research is lacking. This is one of the weakest point in this research paper due to its inability to show the process followed to obtain results. The paper does not indicate the method and tools used for collection of data and neither does the paper indicate the research design. There is no overview approach to the research or map concerning the discussion topic. Without the methodology then the research may be considered invalid as the is no justification for the results obtained. The paper also needs to be clear on whether the research is qualitative or quantitative, survey or case study and finally primary or secondary research.

Data Analysis and Collection Methods

In this paper, data analysis has not been clearly shown. There is no chapter in data analysis in this research paper and instead data analyzed from other sourced have been used. There is no methodology for data collection and even no sampling techniques described. There is however, a hint that the data used to write this report comes from interviews with specialist in areas of terrorism and intelligence reports. Apart for this single data, collection instrument there is no any other evidence of conventional data collection techniques. This study can be replicated by developing clear research questions and hypothesis. Research methodology will need to be developed in order to determine instruments for data collection. Data collection instruments must be clear i.e. if it is a questionnaire or interviews with those concerned. After collection of data, analyzing based on the collected data will then have to be done in order to get the true characteristics on the subject of research.


According to the paper topic of discussion, there major variable come into focus. The paper shows how terrorism that is the independent variable pose risk and liability to maritime stakeholders. A discussion of these variables has formed the backbone of this research paper. The study of terrorism risk and liability in this paper involves two types of maritime terrorism threats (a) attacks that target passenger vessels (b)attacks threats on containerized shipping. This study explores underlying threats, vulnerabilities, potential to the these two types of vessels. These according to the author are the variables involves in this discussion.

Validity of the research

The study however does not meet the thresh hold of a research paper. The research findings may not be considered valid, as there was no sufficient collection of primary data to ascertain the argument of the research. In this research for instance, there is no clear tools for collection of data and therefore bringing into question the authenticity of the paper. From this perspective, the paper may be considered invalid as the sources used in the writing of this research does not come out clearly.

Findings of the Study

The author’s goal in the study is not clear and so it is rather difficult to know if his goals have been achieved. Whoever going by the implied goals of the study the author has achieved his goal. He has been able to show the nature of maritime threat and vulnerability associated with it. In his finding, the author acknowledges that the biggest threat in maritime operations is radiological or nuclear detonation, or the extended disruption of operations at a port. The other greatest risk may involve passenger cruise ship may include on-board bombs, water supply contamination, food contamination and improvised explosive device.To that extent then the author’s goal is achieved which may be biased based on the individual author.

However, since the data, analysis is not comprehensive and the methodology of the research has not been clearly elaborated, then the validity of the research is put into question. The research cannot be relied to determine the actual phenomena since minimum data collection was done to ascertain the validity of the study.


The conclusion summarizes the risk and liability associated with maritime terrorism. Important result after data analysis is not captured in the conclusion simply because the data analysis was not elaborate enough and thus the conclusion is narrow in perspectives. However, the conclusion gives an overview of threats of maritime terrorism and the risks involved. To this end the paper answers the topic of the research although not empirically since minimum data was called to back up the evidence to the study.

Implication of Results

In the study, there was not clear research methodology to be followed in acquiring data for the study. The study has over relayed on secondary sources for its findings. For this reason, the results of the study may be subject to individual bias and therefore does not project true nature of the phenomenon. The author only discusses topics on maritime terrorism but does little gather data on the same and therefore create implication for the results

Strengths and Weakness of the Study

The major strengths of this research paper is the facts that its has managed to describe a new phenomena of its nature and shown its effects. The paper has assessed the risks and vulnerability of passenger ships and ferry towards terrorism attack thus creating aware of this nature of terrorism to authority

However, this paper has its weakness, ranging from structure to the objective of the study. The paper does not follow the recommended steps of research writing. The paper is vague in the background information and does not offer any sources of the research information. The paper does not have the research question or a specific hypothesis to test. This makes the whole research objectiveness.

The research also has its weakness in the methodology in which the research was carried. The tools to collect data are not clear yet data have been provided. The reliability of these data is questionable since there was no stated formula for which these data were collected.

The recommendations given for this study are shallow in contents and do not practically describe practical steps to be taken to mitigate or counter the risks associated with the terrorism phenomenon.Finally, the studyapplication is biased in the study recommendation is inclined to U.S.


Michael, D. et al. (2006). The Maritime terrorism risk and liability. Pittsburgh, PA: RAND Cooperation.

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1. IvyPanda. "The Maritime Terrorism Risk and Liability." March 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-maritime-terrorism-risk-and-liability/.


IvyPanda. "The Maritime Terrorism Risk and Liability." March 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-maritime-terrorism-risk-and-liability/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "The Maritime Terrorism Risk and Liability." March 31, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-maritime-terrorism-risk-and-liability/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Maritime Terrorism Risk and Liability'. 31 March.

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