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Globalization and the Kalashnikov: public-private networks in the trafficking and control of small arms

Bolton, Matthew, Sakamoto, Eiko Elize and Griffiths, Hugh (2012) Globalization and the Kalashnikov: public-private networks in the trafficking and control of small arms. Global Policy, 3 (3). pp. 303-313. ISSN 1758-5880

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1758-5899.2011.00118.x


This article will show how trends of globalization have transformed both the proliferation of and efforts to control small arms and light weapons (SALW). We first examine how the distribution of small arms has become more diffused, moving away from a state-centric model of 'arms transfers' to circulations of SALW through outsourced networks comprising a myriad of public and private actors. We then show how the post-Cold War international environment has allowed progressive norm entrepreneurs like middle powers and NGOs greater voice in determining SALW policy. Simultaneously, however, it has also allowed great power states and defense companies to benefit from the legitimacy of associating with human rights groups, 'capturing' the SALW policy process, particularly the Arms Trade Treaty, in a way that protects their interests. Efforts to transfer, exchange and control small arms and light weapons are thus indicative of wider global political processes in which power is diffused through multilayered networks and complexes. Exploring the policy implications, we argue that these networks enable actors to augment their power and capacity through alliances with other agents, but simultaneously constrain their scope of action and ability to control the process. This makes it more difficult for actors representing the public interest to override those acting in private or particularist interests.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2012 London School of Economics and Political Science and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2013 08:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:31

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