Dr. Lisa Otto



I have a passionate interest in non-traditional threats to security, and have, over the last five years, developed expertise in maritime security, specifically piracy and maritime crime. I have focussed particularly on maritime crime in African maritime domains, and have looked at the political economy of piracy in Kenya and Somalia, the role of private security in counter-piracy, challenges to countering piracy, and the nexus between natural resource governance and transnational organised crime in the form of maritime crime. I have thus taken an interdisciplinary approach to my research, and am motivated to conduct research that also has practical applicability for practitioners and interested stakeholders.


Lisa Otto holds BA and BA Honours degrees in subjects of Politics and International Relations from the University of Johannesburg and a first-class MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College London. Lisa has recently completed her D.Litt et Phil in Political Studies at the University of Johannesburg, and is due to graduate shortly. For this study she conducted an in-depth study of maritime crime in West Africa, and conducted visiting research at the International Maritime Organisation and the University of Greenwich’s Maritime Institute. Before joining Coventry, Lisa has worked at South African think tanks, the Institute for Security Studies, and the South African Institute of International Affairs, and political risk analysis in Johannesburg and London.


Contact: lisa.otto@coventry.ac.uk