Controlling weapons circulation in a postcolonial militarised world

Stavrianakis, Anna (2019) Controlling weapons circulation in a postcolonial militarised world. Review of International Studies, 45 (1). pp. 57-76. ISSN 0260-2105

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What are the politics of, and prospects for, contemporary weapons control? Human rights and humanitarian activists and scholars celebrate the gains made in the UN Arms Trade Treaty as a step towards greater human security. Critics counter that the treaty represents an accommodation with global militarism. Taking the tensions between arms transfer control and militarism as my starting point, I argue that the negotiating process and eventual treaty text demonstrate competing modes of militarism. Expressed in terms of sovereignty, political economy, or human security, all three modes are underpinned by ongoing imperial relations: racial, gendered and classed relations of asymmetry and hierarchy that persist despite formal sovereign equality. This means human security is a form of militarism rather than the antithesis of it. Drawing on primary sources from negotiations and participant observation with actors involved in the campaign for the ATT, the argument challenges the idea that human security has scored a victory over militarism. It also complicates our understanding of the nature of the accommodation with it, demonstrating the transformation as well as entrenchment of contemporary militarism. The argument reframes the challenges for controlling weapons circulation, placing the necessity for feminist, postcolonial anti-militarist critique front and centre.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 13:00

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