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First Landmines, Now Small Arms? The International Campaign to Ban Landmines as a Model for Small Arms Advocacy

Diana O'Dwyer
Irish Studies in International Affairs
Vol. 17 (2006), pp. 77-97
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30002099
Page Count: 21
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First Landmines, Now Small Arms? The International Campaign to Ban Landmines as a Model for Small Arms Advocacy
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Abstract

This paper is a comparative analysis of the international campaigns around landmines and small arms. The aim is to determine whether aspects of the successful campaign to ban landmines can be replicated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) campaigning on other issues, such as the regulation of small arms. Drawing on the literature on globalisation, transnational civil society, social movements, global governance and international norms, five main factors influencing the success of the landmines campaign are identified and applied to the small-arms campaign. These include geopolitical conditions, the effects of globalisation, the attitude of other actors in the international system, how campaigners framed the issue and how they linked it to pre-existing norms and legal precedents. The paper concludes that the landmines campaign is best regarded as a one-off success, resulting from a particular coincidence of issue-specific factors and external conditions, which cannot easily be replicated. It also suggests that the success of NGO campaigns may also be limited to relatively 'straightforward' problems amenable to simple solutions.

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