The Humanitarian Disarmament Movement: An Assessment and Review

  • Taylor Benjamin-BrittonEmail author
  • Matthew Breay Bolton
  • Sarah Njeri


Disarmament has long been a dirty word in the international relations (IR) lexicon. But people have often chosen—for reasons of security, honor, ethics, or humanitarianism—to prohibit or limit certain violent technologies. In the last two decades, the “humanitarian disarmament movement”—a loose coalition of small and medium-sized states, humanitarian agencies, and advocacy groups—have successfully achieved international treaties banning landmines, cluster munitions, and nuclear weapons, as well as restricting the global arms trade. These “New Disarmers” have now set their sights on banning autonomous weapons systems. This chapter introduces, defines and provides historical background on humanitarian disarmament, including its emergence as a transnational advocacy network and community of practice.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taylor Benjamin-Britton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew Breay Bolton
    • 2
  • Sarah Njeri
    • 3
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political SciencePace UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Africa Leadership CentreKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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