Controlling the Arms Trade: An Issue of World Politics, Law, and Public Health | University of Oxford

Controlling the Arms Trade: An Issue of World Politics, Law, and Public Health

Laurence Lustgarten
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Green Templeton College
43 Woodstock Road
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Lectures and seminars
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The global trade in weapons is one of the most controversial issues in international and domestic politics. A great number of incendiary questions surround it: should governments that claim they are committed to human rights and respect for the laws of war supply weapons to repressive regimes or those which, intentionally or not, repeatedly attack civilian targets? Do exporting states have a responsibility to refuse to permit sales in circumstances where there are likely to be widespread civilian casualties with long-term consequences for public health and capacity for economic development? What political and legal structures are best suited to restrict the impulses for governments and powerful companies to seek profit and political influence by increasing arms sales? What role can international regulation play?

These questions do not exhaust the issues. They, and many others, are faced by all states engaged in exporting arms, or—as with India—importing them in large quantities. They will be addressed in a book authored by primarily by Prof. Laurence Lustgarten of Green Templeton College which will contain contributions addressing by national policies and practices of the USA, Russia, Germany, France, Sweden and India. Green Templeton has supported the gathering of the contributing experts to develop the book, and they will all take part in a symposium in which the various policies and practices of each country will be addressed. International developments, notably the Arms Trade Treaty, and the role of the EU will also be explained. So too will the likely impact of Brexit on the situation of the UK.

It is hoped that the various presentations will lead to extensive questions from the audience and lively discussion.

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