Book - Routledge

Small Arms and Security: New Emerging International Norms

| Sep. 21, 2006

(Contemporary Security Studies Series)


The widespread availability of small arms has a profound effect on violence in all its forms. Over the past ten years studies published by leading advocacy and research groups, as well as by regional and international governmental organizations denouncing armed violence, have provided much needed information about the extent of small arms availability and demonstrated how it is one of the main factors contributing to the lack of human security worldwide. As a consequence, the international community has started to take steps towards actively controlling this scourge.

This book examines the emergence of new international norms to govern the spread of small arms, and the extent to which these norms have been established in the policies and practices of states, regions, and international organizations. It also attempts to establish criteria for assessing norm emergence, and to assess the process of norm development by comparing what actually happens in the multilateral level.

If norm-making on small arms and related multilateral negotiations have mostly dealt with “illicit arms”, and most of the norms examined here fall on the arms supplier side of the arms equation, the author argues that the creation of international norms and the setting of widely agreed standards amongst states on all aspects of the demand for, availability, and spread of both legal and illegal small arms and light weapons must become central to the multilateral coordination of policy responses in order to tackle the growing violence associated with small arms availability.

This book will be of interest to researchers and professionals in the fields of peace and conflict studies, global governance, international security, and disarmament.


Denise Garcia is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern University and a former Research Fellow with the International Security Program and the Intrastate Conflict Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She has worked at and received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Garcia, Denise. Small Arms and Security: New Emerging International Norms. Oxon, England: Routledge, 2006.

The Author