Frederico Varese has co-authored a paper in the British Journal of Criminology with Anja Shortland from King's College on the reasons why some Somali clans protect pirates, while others don't.

Federico said: 'A puzzle that has long been neglected in the study of the hijacking of foreign vessels off the coasts of Somalia is why only certain parts of the country’s coastline seem susceptible to harbouring pirates. The relative size of the income for protectors of trade or piracy can be likened to an on/off switch. Local communities support pirates when there isn’t a better alternative income stream. By improving the infrastructure of Somalia, building new harbours and roads to link the remote areas to trade routes, our research concludes that poorer communities would be less likely to resort to piracy.' Read more about the study on the University's website.

The paper has attracted media coverage on the BBC and in the Economist, and was listed by Time magazine as one of its 'Five Best Ideas of the Day'.