Ongoing Theses

The Impact of Oil Exploitation on a Ghanaian Fishing Community - Attah, A

The Notion of 'Career' in Globalized Industries: The Case of Seafarers - Baum Talmor, P

Seafarers and their Unions: Example from the Philippine Maritime Labour Sector - Buiser, R

Regulating Occupational Health and Safety in the Maritime Industry: A Case Study of the Philippines - Dacanay, J

Black Times in the Seafaring Industry: Does a Relationship Exist Between Time into Tour and Occupational Hazards - Devereux, H

Worker Representative Participation on Occupational Health and Safety Management in Shipping: The Case of Seafarers and the Maritime Labour Convention - Graham, C

Filipino seafarers on-board cruise ships: Shared viewpoints on working lives - Llangco, M

Certification and Competence in Global Shipping Labour Market: Employers’ and Employees' Perception of Fitness for Purpose - Mazhari, S

The Dynamics of Poverty, Inequality and Coping Strategies among Small-Scale Fishers in Ghana - Mensah, I

Understanding the ‘crewing crisis’ in the context of agency employment: Perspectives from Seafarers, Crewing Agents and Ship Managers - Pepito, R

Labour supply arrangements in the Philippine seafaring industry - Pia, J

The Intended and Unintended Consequences of State Border Regulation, Policing and Policies on Undocumented Migration: The Case of Seafarers and Maritime Stowaways - Senu, A

An Analysis of Maritime Piracy in Eastern Africa Between 2000 and 2010 and its impact on Seafarers' Welfare - Simons, S



Amewu Attah


Research Topic: The Impact of Oil Exploitation on a Ghanaian Fishing Community

Abstract:

With Ghana joining the league of oil producing countries in 2007 when it discovered oil in commercial quantities in a field which has been christened “The Jubilee Oil Field”, this thesis looks at the impact of oil discovery on a Ghanaian Fishing Community. This thesis intends to explore the impact the discovery and subsequent exploitation of oil is having on a community close to the oil field in terms of fishing activities and other lifestyles of community inhabitants.

Statement of progress:

I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (SSRM) in June, 2011. I then conducted a pilot study in March 2012 for approximately two months after which I submitted a report to my supervisors. The main fieldwork for this study was conducted from July, 2012 to December, 2012. Transcription of my interviews and inputting data from my questionnaires into SPSS was done on my return to Cardiff from my fieldwork site in Ghana. I have successfully completed three progress reviews up-to-date. The progress review has been an excellent platform through which I have received valuable feedback from an independent person (i.e. the progress reviewer) aside my supervisors. I have submitted and received feedback for my first findings chapter. I am currently revising my first findings chapter based on feedback from my supervisors. 

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Polina Baum-Talmor

Research Topic: The Notion of 'Career' in Globalized Industries: The Case of Seafarers

Abstract:

The topic of research is retirement among seafarers, examining possible reasons and implications for seafarers retirement.

Statement of progress:

Since this is the first year of the PhD studies, I am currently focused on the SSRM (Social sciences research methods) modules. As far as the research is concerned, I am mostly reading through literature on the subject, including wider aspects of retirement such as careers development, professional identity etc.

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Ralph Buiser

Research Topic: Seafarers and their Unions: Example from the Philippine Maritime Labour Sector

Abstract:

This thesis is aimed at understanding two interrelated areas: (1) the perceptions and experiences of seafarers in relation to their unions and unionisation; and (2) how local maritime unions operate and are structured within a labour-sending country context using the Philippines as a case for inquiry. It explores the subjective understanding of Filipino seafarers on the various aspects of employment relations, such as for example their perceptions on how unions have had an impact on their working lives, their views on the role of unions and collective bargaining agreements, their experiences with union officials, and their experiences of collective action at sea. Similarly it explores how local maritime unions, embedded within the global maritime industry, are structured at the national level looking at for example their relationship with their members, collective bargaining strategies, relationship with agencies and employers, and their logics of action in maintaining legitimacy. These two general areas are explored with a goal towards a deeper understanding of the interplay of trade unions and their members in a globalised labour environment.

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Jabeth Sena Jepath A Dacanay

Research Topic: Regulating Occupational Health and Safety in the Maritime Industry: A Case Study of the Philippines 

Abstract:

The thesis will explore the impact of globalisation on regulations particularly those that bear upon regulatory culture and the social dimension of regulatory mechanisms. It will examine the present regulatory frameworks and the various strategies adopted by regulatory bodies to ensure the protection of the health and safety of the workers. Specifically, the study will probe into labour regulations and initiatives within the context of the national framework of a labour supplying country to ascertain the effectiveness of these approaches in protecting the health and safety of seafarers who work outside its territorial jurisdiction. More importantly, it will endeavour to ascertain how seafarers themselves perceive these regulations and manage to negotiate their rights under such labour regulatory framework. Since the Philippines is the number one labour supplying country providing more than a quarter of the total number of seafarers in the world, the study will focus on the regulatory approaches adopted by the Philippine government to ensure or afford protection in matters relating to occupational health and safety of its seafarers serving foreign flags.

Statement of progress:

I have just finished my two-semester classes of Social Science Research Methods. I had four (4) supervision meetings for the past nine (9) months. I am in the process of collating relevant literature for my theory and methods chapters.

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Helen Devereux
  (née Douglass)

Research Topic: Black Times in the Seafaring Industry: Does a Relationship Exist Between Time into Tour and Occupational Accidents 

Abstract:

In comparison to other industries seafaring is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. For all industries occupational accidents have traditionally been shown to occur at an early stage of a worker’s employment in a particular occupation due to inexperience. This poses an interesting paradox with regards to the shipping industry whereby research on issues such as fatigue at sea suggest that significant accident contributory factors such as fatigue and complacency may become more apparent as the length of time increases. 

Within the shipping industry there is little research focusing on the time aspect of accident causation with most research instead focusing on the spatial aspect. Therefore the question of whether there are accident black times among seafarers has not been properly addressed. This issue will be considered from data drawn from both the employment records of seafarers and the accident records from one European based large multinational shipping company, detailing the date the seafarer joined the ship, the date of the occupational accident and the date the seafarer left the ship. Following analysis of the quantitative data, semi-structured interviews will be carried out with key informants and seafarers. Conclusions will then be made based on the triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative findings.

Statement of progress:
The literature review for this thesis was completed in late 2013 and at present a methods chapter is being drafted and a preliminary analysis of incidents is being
conducted.

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Carolyn Graham 

Research Topic: An examination of the role of the worker representative participation in the management of occupational health and safety in the shipping industry

Abstract: 

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the policies and practices of worker representative participation on occupational health and safety management in the shipping industry as a means of giving voice to seafarers.  It does so from the perspective of the Maritime Labour Convention’s (MLC) 2006 provision for seafarers’ representatives.  The aim is to ascertain how this voice mechanism is perceived, articulated and governed towards positive health and safety outcomes for the seafaring labour force.

Seafaring is one of the most hazardous occupations that is in need of effective arrangements to manage health and safety risks on board.  The MLC has responded to this need by mandating States to develop policies and programmes to manage seafarers’ health and safety.  A key component of this mandate is the involvement of seafarers’ representatives. 

Worker representative participation is a mode of giving voice to workers.  This provision of the MLC gives seafarers’ a say in decision-making and arrangements to safeguard their health and safety.  Current health and safety regulatory instruments in the shipping industry do not mandate arrangements for conventional forms of worker representation. 

Worker representative participation is associated with positive occupational health and safety management and outcomes but hinges on a number of preconditions such as a sound regulatory regime, a unionized and stable workforce and the active involvement of constituents.  These preconditions are problematic for the shipping industry.  The thesis therefore examines the following questions: Why has the MLC chosen worker representative participation as the mode of giving voice bearing in mind the challenges? What policies and programmes have member States put in place to give effect to worker representative participation? What are stakeholders’ perceptions of the MLC’s provisions for worker representative participation?  How are these policies and programmes translated into practice on board ships?

The questions will be examined using qualitative methodology.  The thesis will employ a comparative case study design of involving two maritime administrations selected by convenience.   Data will be gathered through documentary analysis, indepth interviews and possible observations on board. The thesis will contribute to the literature on workers’ voice from the perspective of seafarers, which is absent for the most part.  It will also provide information that may be useful for assessment of the role of the MLC and point to further areas of investigation in the topic of seafarers’ voice.

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Mark Oliver Llangco

Research Topic: Filipino seafarers on-board cruise ships: Shared viewpoints on working lives 

Abstract:

This study explores social representations of working lives by Filipino seafarers working on-board cruise ships. In everyday discourse, the work and life of cruise sector seafarers are portrayed as narratives of either ‘perfect workers in a dream job’ or ‘exploited workers on sweatship’. These everyday discourses can be moderated by turning the gaze to how seafarers make sense of their employment experience in relation to their lives. Q-methodology and interviews were used to investigate viewpoints on working lives of cruise ship employees. Participants were asked to sort a sample of 48 statements concerning occupational, organisational and work-related issues before, during and after on-board employment based on their agreement/disagreement with them. Factor analysis of 99 completed Q-sorts yielded four factors which can be interpreted as work-views or shared and holistic viewpoints on working lives. The Good-fits said that cruise ship employment is about meeting travel aspirations whilst delivering good customer service. The Troubleds emphasized the challenges cruise ship workers encounter before working on a ship, whilst on-board and after completing a contract. The Professionals narrated a strong identification and commitment to working on cruise ships. Finally, the Ambivalents viewed cruise ship employment as a combination of advantages and disadvantages that every worker must realistically assess. The work-views have differing stances on some issues but they are in alignment with each other in suggesting: (a) a positive attitudes towards the employer, (b) a conceptualisation of the job as both physical and emotional, (c) work relations based on shared identity, and (d) the continuing importance of family. These distinct work-views are discussed in terms of work orientation to highlight the interplay of job rewards, employment relationship and socio-cultural context in capturing a more nuanced social representation of working lives of cruise ship employees.  


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Shahriar Mazhari

Research Topic: Certification and Competence in Global Shipping Labour Market: Employers’ and Employees' Perception of Fitness for Purpose

Abstract:

The primary aim of this research is to examine whether there is any knowing-doing gap in the maritime education domain.

This research will examine the nature of the perceived gap between training being provided to seafarers in accordance with the STCW and the actual competence the ship operators expect from the seafarers to be fit for the purpose and to explore the implications of such a gap. Moreover, the research will examine the perceived gap between training being provided to officer trainees in accordance with the STCW convention and the actual competence the officers find to be necessary for them prior to being enrolled for the assigned duties. The research will shed light on knowing-doing gap in the MET system, cause and effects and implications of such a gap. Finally, this research will discuss whether the measures being taken by the stakeholders to fill the gaps in MET of merchant navy officers are presently adequate, and suffice to enhance quality of the workforce.

Statement of progress: 

About to commence 2nd stage Data collection

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Isaac Mensah

Research Topic: The Dynamics of Poverty, Inequality and Coping Strategies among Small-Scale Fishers in Ghana

Abstract:

This thesis contribute to the fledging body of research on the dynamics of poverty in fishing communities. It draws on ethnographic research methods to examine the dynamics of poverty and inequality and coping strategies in small-scale fishing communities in Ghana. The small-scale fisheries sector in Ghana as in many developing maritime countries constitute the mainstay economic activity and source of livelihood for coastal communities. Notwithstanding the contributions of the sector, pervasive conditions of poverty and inequality in distribution of rent generated are frequently observed. The study seek to understand how social and institutional factors and underlying norms, values and power relations combine to explain the incidence of poverty, the process of impoverishment and reproduction of inequality. The focus is on a range of informal institutions- kinship, labour and production sharing systems and economic exchanges and arrangements, as well the activities and interventions of formal governmental and non-governmental institutions. The aim is to address the question as to how and why some small-scale fishers are able to capture substantial portion of rent generated in the fisheries, benefiting from the fishery generally while others fail, operating throughout their lives trapped in indebtedness and poverty.

Statement of progress: 

Finishing my literature review chapter for progress review

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Jean Pia

Research Topic:  Labour supply arrangements in the Philippine seafaring industry

Abstract:

The focal point of this thesis is the government prescribed standard employment contract (POEA-SEC) which contains the amended standard terms and conditions governing the overseas employment of Filipino seafarers onboard ocean-going ships. This thesis intends to explore the views, perceptions and experience of the relevant major stakeholders in the Philippine maritime industry such as Filipino seafarers, crewing managers, shipowners and government regulators with regard to the efficacy of the POEA-SEC in protecting the health, safety and well-being of Filipino seafarers. The interest in exploring the seafarers’ employment contracts comes in the light of global labour demand for flexible, short-term, contractual and extremely mobile labour and the emergence of the Philippines as a leading provider of seafarer workers. This thesis specifically aims to give seafarers a platform to narrate the stories as there is dearth of materials on the experience of seafarers coming from a developing country.

Statement of progress:

Jean earned a Post-graduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (SSRM) from October 2010 to June 2011.  She submitted a chapter for her first progress review in January 2012.  After a satisfactory evaluation, she went on two phases of fieldwork for her data collection: from March to July 2012 and December 2012 to March 2013. She presented her work at the Cardiff University Social Science Doctoral Conference last October 2013 as her second Progress Review. She also underwent her third progress review in November 2013. On her third year of Ph.D., her thesis now includes working drafts of the Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Policy, and three Data/ Findings Chapters. For this Ph.D. phase, she is expected to draft the Discussion of the research findings as well as the research Conclusion and Recommendations chapters

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Amaha Senu

Research Topic:

The Intended and Unintended Consequences of State Border Regulation, Policing and Policies on Undocumented Migration: The Case of Seafarers and Maritime Stowaways ? 

Abstract:  

The securitization of migration and subsequent state efforts to control undocumented migration have been subjects of inquiry by many scholars. While the initial focus was on how the issue of migration becomes securitized through political and media discourses, there is also further development in explaining how migration is securitized through mundane everyday practices and techniques and technologies of governance. In line with this development there is a focus on the solicitation of private actors in the governance of undocumented migration. My research seeks to contribute to this debate by looking at the issue of maritime stowaways in the shipping industry. Shipping companies have been delegated with the financial responsibility of detaining and repatriating maritime stowaways. They are also obliged to deter stowaways from finding their way on to the ship through the use of financial sanctions. In effect, the ship has been turned to a fluid extension of state borders with seafarers forced to assume the role of border control enforcement. It is believed that this has led to some unintended consequences such as the maltreatment and murder of stowaways. The research aims to explore the consequences of delegating such responsibilities to shipping industry and understand how seafarers make sense of their role as border control enforcement on behalf of states.           

Statement of progress: 

I am currently preparing to undertake a pilot study to be followed by fieldwork.

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Sarah Simons

Research Topic: An Analysis of Maritime Piracy in Eastern Africa Between 2000 and 2010 and its impact on the welfare of seafarers

Abstract
:

This study began in mid-2010. It is being undertaken to provide a platform for a sample of seafarers of different nationalities, ranks and working on a variety of ships in the international fleet, to share their perspectives on how maritime piracy in East Africa may be affecting them. This research initiative was prompted by the absence of empirical research documenting the ‘stories’ of seafarers, who continue to be the primary targets of the kidnap-for-ransom pirate attacks in East Africa. Prior to this study, counter-piracy discourse, research and interventions had largely focused on perpetrators of this enterprise crime. 

Statement of progress:

In 2013, following the completion of data analysis, I embarked on drafting my three data chapters and the closing chapter detailing the research Conclusions and Recommendations. The draft thesis contains seven chapters. While these remain a work in progress, I am working towards a PhD thesis submission in late spring-early 2014.

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