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Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies (5th edn)

Alan Collins
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date: 30 January 2023

p. 36424. The Weapons Tradelocked

p. 36424. The Weapons Tradelocked

  • Suzette R. Grillot


This chapter discusses the international weapons trade. It first provides a historical background on the global arms trade and highlights the ways in which the trade in defence and military equipment has shifted throughout the years until the present day. It then examines contemporary trends in the weapons trade and how weapons are illicitly traded. It also shows how the illicit arms trade is connected to the legal arms market and concludes by describing various attempts that have been made in recent years to control the global arms trade, as well as prospects for its future regulation. Three case studies are presented to highlight the main issues surrounding the international weapons trade: the first relates to the use of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) in terrorism, the second involves arms broker Victor Bout, and the third deals with the non-governmental organization known as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

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