Approaching a Global Arms Trade Treaty - Norm building in small arms control

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The upcoming negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty in July, 2012 mark a new development within arms control regimes. This thesis seeks to investigate the prospects and challenges towards the achievement of an Arms Trade Treaty. In doing so, it will adopt an ideational analysis in order to investigate the emergence of norms in small arms and how these have the potential to affect policy outcomes. The theoretical framework consists of constructivism in international relations and the human security discourse which offer some useful insights as to the emergence of these norms. Additionally, competing norms in relation to small arms will be analysed so as to illustrate the competitive climate in which this issue dwells and offer some discernment on the complexity of security issues in multilateralism. In order to fully understand human security initiatives such as the small arms campaign, a concise comparative analysis of the landmine ban is conducted to explore any potential lessons and direction this may offer. This study finds that the prospect of a robust and inclusive Arms Trade Treaty is faced with huge normative hurdles. The widespread opposition by actors at different levels will more than likely result in a watered-down treaty.

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