Deniece Aiken

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime Affairs


Ph.D (Maritime Affairs)


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Max Meija

Second Advisor

Michael Manuel


Maritime governance has been generally described as a complex set of rules and regulations developed for the regulation of shipping. The maritime industry is responsible for transporting over 80% of global trade, and involves interrelations between international bodies, state parties, non-governmental organizations, shipping companies and other stakeholders which, in itself, brings about many intricacies. Regulation of this sector is informed by a constant interplay amongst the various actors centred around the development of international regulations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the implementation of these regulations within the national jurisdictions of Member States and the reporting of regulatory outcomes. Whilst it has been acknowledged that the development of the international regulations surrounding shipping has been considerably successful, the implementation of these regulations appear to fall short of desirable levels. This research sought to investigate the concept of maritime governance, the factors affecting the implementation of IMO instruments, and the role and involvement of the IMO over the past 60 years since its establishment. The relationship between the IMO, its Member States, and other key stakeholders was also reviewed within the context of maritime governance. The conduct of the research and the analytical processes undertaken in the study were informed by grounded theory research methodology. Key findings are based on empirical data gathered from case study, interviews, survey questionnaires and non-participant observations. The study revealed that implementation of IMO instruments is a core function of maritime governance, involving key stakeholders operating at multiple levels, and which can be improved through tailored approaches to governance practices at the national level surrounding people, processes, and particularities.