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Taking aim at the arms trade: NGOs, global civil society and the world military order

posted on 2023-06-07, 15:32 authored by Anna StavrianakisAnna Stavrianakis
Taking Aim at The Arms Trade: NGOs, Global Civil Society and the World Military Order takes a critical look at the ways in which NGOs portray the arms trade as a problem of international politics and the strategies they use to effect change. NGOs have been pivotal in bringing the suffering caused by the arms trade to public attention, documenting its negative impact on human rights, conflict, security and development around the world, and pushing for measures to control or eradicate the trade. Overall, however, their activity has helped result in the sidelining of Northern military predominance from debate and facilitated intervention in the South based on liberal understandings of the arms trade, conflict, development and human rights. They thus contribute to the perpetuation of a hierarchical and asymmetrical world military order and to the construction of the South as a site of Northern benevolence and intervention. Stavrianakis exposes the tensions inherent in NGOs' engagement with the arms trade and argues for a re-examination of dominant assumptions about NGOs as global civil society actors.


Publication status

  • Published


Zed Books



Place of publication

London, UK



Department affiliated with

  • International Relations Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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