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School of Politics and International Relations

Behind the Beirut explosion lies the lawless world of international shipping


Dr Laleh Khalili, Professor of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London, writes an opinion piece on the Beirut explosion and how the disaster has roots in a global network of maritime capital and legal chicanery designed to protect businesses at any cost. She writes: “Flags of convenience, essentially an offshoring tool intended to protect capital, allow unsafe ships to sail with crews who are vulnerable to the depredations of unscrupulous employers. Even the wealthiest shipping companies in the world, with headquarters in Europe and east Asia, flag their ships to open registries to save on wages, taxes and insurance”.

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