During the process of reducing a nation's supply of weapons or the strength of its armed forces (arms control, reduction in arms) the main focus nowadays is on three categories of weapons: weapons of an indiscriminate effect, such as cluster munitions and landmines, biological and chemical weapons and the (non-) proliferation of nuclear weapons (nuclear disarmament).
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Disarmament. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's classification index code 172. Disarmament and subject heading (keyword) Disarmament are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
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- Nystuen, G. and Casey-Maslen, S. (eds.), The Convention on Cluster Munitions: A Commentary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Commission sur les Armes de Destruction Massive, Armes de terreur: débarrasser le monde des armes nucleaires, biologiques et chimiques, Paris, Harmattan, 2010.
- Rietiker, D., Le régime juridique des traités de maîtrise des armements: plaidoyer pour l'unité de l'ordre juridique international, Bern, Stämpfli, 2010.
- Beynio, J., Die völkerrechtliche Zulässigkeit der Aufrüstung mit Kernwaffen, Frankfurt am Main, Lang, 2010.
- Journé, V., Armes de terreur: débarrasser le monde des armes nucleaires, biologiques et chimiques, Paris, Harmattan, 2010.
- Joyner, D.H., Interpreting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Petriz, W., Vor dem Aus? Der Vertrag über die Nichtweiterverbreitung von Kernwaffen, Frankfurt am Main, Lang, 2012.
- Rutherford, K.R., Disarming States: the International Movement to Ban Landmines, Santa Barbara, CA, Praeger, 2011.
- Thakur, R. and E. Haru, The Chemical Weapons Convention: Implementation, Challenges and Opportunities, Tokyo, United Nations University Press, 2006.
- Asada, M., "The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Universalization of the Additional Protocol", Journal of Conflict & Security 16 (2011), No. 1, pp. 3-34.
- Joyner, D.H., "Recent Developments in International Law Regarding Nuclear Weapons", International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 60 (2011), pp. 209-224.
- Kiernan, P.M., "'Disarmament' under the NPT: Article VI in the 21st Century", Journal of International Law and Practice, 20 (2012), No.2, pp. 381-400.
- Koplow, D.A., "What Would Zero Look Like?: a Treaty for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons", Georgetown Journal of International Law, 45 (2014), No. 3, pp. 683-781.
- Lindstrom, G., "Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction", in G.P. Herd (ed.), Great Powers and Strategic Stability in the 21st Century: Competing Visions of World Order, Abingdon, Routledge, 2011, pp. 45-64.
- Sossai,M., "Disarmament and Non-Proliferation", in: N.D. White and C. Henderson (eds.), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law : "Jus ad bellum, jus in bello," and "Jus post bellum", Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013, pp. 41-66.
- Weiss, P., "Taking the Law Seriously: the Imperative Need For a Nuclear Weapons Convention", Fordham International Law Journal, 34 (2011), No. 4, pp. 776-787.
- Fennell, S. and C. Tofan (eds.), Arms Control, Nijmegen, Wolff Legal Publishers, 2011.
- Tabassi, L.W. (ed.), OPCW: the Legal Texts, The Hague, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2009.
Periodicals, serial publications
- United Nations History Project: Atomic Energy, Disarmament Bibliography by Louis B. Amira
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Fry, J.D., Legal Resolution of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Disputes, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
How viable is the resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes through the International Court of Justice and international arbitration? James Fry examines the compromissory clauses in the IAEA Statute, IAEA Safeguards Agreements and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material that give jurisdiction to these fora and analyses recent jurisprudence to demonstrate how legal resolution can handle such politically sensitive disputes. In sum, legal resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes represents an option that States and commentators have all too often ignored. The impartiality and procedural safeguards of legal resolution should make it an acceptable option for target States and the international community, especially vis-...-vis the procedural shortcomings and general heavy-handedness of Security Council involvement under UN Charter Chapter VII.
Garvey, J.I., Nuclear Weapons Counterproliferation: a New Grand Bargain, New York, Oxford University Press, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book proposes a new legal and institutional framework for the counterproliferation of nuclear weapons. Its proposal is designed to remedy the widely acknowledged breakdown of the architecture of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on which we can no longer rely for global nuclear security. First, the book defines the distinctively dangerous character of contemporary nuclear risk and explains why the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty no longer provides a viable foundation for counterproliferation of nuclear weapons. It then sets out the reforms needed in order to limit the radical increase in availability, for rogue governments and terrorists, of nuclear weapons related material and technology.
Bryden, A., International Law, Politics, and Inhumane Weapons: the Effectiveness of Global Landmine Regimes, London, Routledge, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book contributes to contemporary debates on the effectiveness of international humanitarian law (IHL) in regulating or prohibiting inhumane weapons, such as landmines. Two treaties have emerged under IHL in response to the humanitarian scourge of landmines. However, despite a considerable body of related literature, clear understandings have not been established on the effectiveness of these international legal frameworks in meeting the challenges that prompted their creation. This book seeks to address this lacuna. An analytical framework grounded in regime theory helps move beyond the limitations in the current literature through a structured focus on principles, norms, rules, procedures, actors and issue areas.
Gerstein, D.M., National Security and Arms Control in the Age of Biotechnology: the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book accessibly and expertly details the history and implications of the BWC—the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention—a controversial arms control agreement drafted in the 1970’s meant to supplement the Geneva protocol for warfare from decades earlier. That treaty banned the use of biological weapons in modern warfare, but failed to ban their development, transport or trafficking, holes the BWC aimed to fill, but are still contested to this day. Daniel M. Gerstein, a Deputy Under Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security and Adjunct Professor at American University, traces the origins of the treaty and its many complications, past and present, while prescribing a way for the world’s leaders to move forward with regards to (what Gerstein sees will be and already is) “the most important arms control treaty of the 21st Century.” This will only become more pronounced as exponential advances in biotechnology continue to occur. The strength and enforcement of the treaty are at a crossroads, and it is important for both professionals and students of the political-military and international affairs to know exactly what a failure to honor, improve and uphold the BWC would mean for international security.
Pifer, S. and M.E. O'Hanlon, The Opportunity: Next Steps in reducing Nuclear Arms, Washington, DC, Brookings Institution Press, 2012.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
President Obama gave priority to nuclear arms control early in his first term and, by all accounts, would like to be transformational on these questions. Can there be another major U.S.-Russia arms treaty? Can the tactical and surplus strategic nuclear warheads that have so far escaped controls be brought into such a framework? Can a modus vivendi be reached between the two countries on missile defense? And what of multilateral accords on nuclear testing and production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons? Pifer and O'Hanlon concisely frame the issues, the background, and the choices facing the president; provide practical policy recommendations, and put it all in clear and readable prose that will be easily understood by the layman.
Kelle, A., K. Nixdorff and M. Dando (eds.), Preventing a Biochemical Arms Race, Stanford, CA, Stanford Security Studies, 2012.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Preventing a Biochemical Arms Race responds to a growing concern that changes in the life sciences and the nature of warfare could lead to a resurgent interest in chemical and biological weapons (CBW) capabilities. By bringing together a wide range of historical material and current literature in the field of CBW arms control, the book reveals how these two disparate fields might be integrated to precipitate a biochemical arms race among major powers, rogue states, or even non-state actors.
Nuclear Deal, Sanctions, Nuclear Diplomacy
After nearly two years of arduous negotiations a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program of Iran was signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015. In exchange for reducing Iran’s nuclear activities drastically, the United States and the European Union would lift their nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian economy. Most countries and international organizations welcomed the agreement. Will U.S. President Obama be remembered as initiator of this ‘historic’ deal? The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a nuclear agreement signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.Read more
Arms Trade Treaty: A Historic Breakthrough?
In Syria, a civil war is being fuelled by the transfer of conventional weapons from outside the country despite violations of humanitarian law and human rights abuses on both sides. The arms flows into conflicts, like Syria’s, have recently convinced states to adopt the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (hereinafter also ‘ATT’). A new international norm regulating the international trade in conventional arms that went into effect on Christmas Eve.Read more
Nuclear security: Dangers and Achievements
Nuclear security is generally accepted to mean “the prevention of, detection of, and response to, criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities, or associated activities”. In short it is about preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive material or attacking nuclear facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, nuclear security concerns have been heightened, but how real is the danger and what are the legal instruments to combat nuclear terrorism?Read more
Themes of NSS 2014
The Netherlands will be hosting the Nuclear Security Summit on 24 and 25 March 2014. Nuclear security involves implementing a series of pre-emptive measures to prevent internal and/or external threats directly or indirectly related to nuclear materials, radioactive sources, relevant facilities or other associated activities. Reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world, improving the security of all nuclear material and radioactive sources and improving international cooperation are the main themes of the 2014 Summit.Read more
Nuclear Security Summit 2014: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism Around the Globe
On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Third Nuclear Security Summit will take place here in The Hague. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Even though the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack is small, the consequences would be enormous. The Nuclear Security Summit aims to enhance international cooperation in order to combat nuclear terrorist threats by preventing the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as smugglers and terrorist groups.Read more
3D Printed Weapons: A Threat to National and International Security?
Chesspieces, automotive parts, chairs, geometrical objects, food, medical protheses, toys, paperweights and jewelry are a few of the examples of the items that can be made with a 3D printer. There are many types of 3D printers, ranging from a simple 3D printer for home use to a very big industrial type with which large objects can be created. The machines can use any substance in liquid or powder form.Read more
Colombia: At Last Peace with the FARC?
Columbia’s fourth attempt at peace with the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) started formally last month in Oslo and will continue the 15th of November in Havana, Cuba. The earlier attempts- starting in 1984, 1990 and 1998- to end one of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest armed conflict all failed. Why would the outcome of the peace talks this time be different?Read more
Japan’s nuclear energy policy: energy security versus non-proliferation
Nuclear power dependence Energy is the “life blood” of any economy, but for Japan, this truism has an added importance. Japan is poor in natural resources, specifically sources of energy, which are so vital to a healthy, modern economy: – Japan must import over 80% of all primary energy needs; – Japan obtains only 0.3% […]Read more
New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Enters Into Force
On Saturday, 5 February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged the documents of ratification at the Munich Conference on Security Policy with which a new treaty on strategic arms reduction (New START [PDF]) entered into force.Read more
New Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty
On Wednesday, 24 March, both Russia and the United States indicated that after months of delay they are finally about to sign a new nuclear arms reduction treaty in the Czech capital Prague early next month.Read more
North Korea Confirms Nuclear Test
North Korea has conducted its second nuclear test, the country’s state news agency KCNA announced today. The nuclear test was expected. Earlier this year North Korea conducted a failed intercontinental missile test.Read more
New Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to be signed on December 3, 2008
Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally […]Read more
- Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Washington DC
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
- United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
More Research guides on War, Peace and Security
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- War and Peace
- World War I
- World War II