International Arms Control Research Guide
This guide supports research in the international law of arms control in both primary and secondary materials.
This guide supports research in the international law of arms control in both primary and secondary materials.
Researchers in the field of international arms control will notice how treaties, reports and other documents outline the balancing of competing needs. On the one hand, there are issues such as the illegal trafficking of arms, unauthorized development and use of arms technology, which pose serious threats to political stability, civilian populations and global security. On the other hand, there are issues such as sovereignty, trade and commerce, and the development of peaceful uses of arms technology, which are important for political stability, civilian populations and global security. This guide is intended to lead researchers through some of the primary materials and introduce important secondary sources.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Wolff Library reference desk at 202-662-4195 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also submit your question via this online form.
The law library has many materials on arms control and the titles below are meant only as a starting point. To locate more resources, search the online catalog (or try our old catalog interface) using keywords to narrow your search results. For example, "arms control" and "Middle East" or "arms control" and "United Nations."
- Arms Control in the 21st Century: Between Coercion and Cooperation (2013) INTL JZ5625 .A77 2013
This volume addresses the shift from arms control as mutually agreed restrictions to a more coercive model which seems to be necessary in certain instances. The authors address how this ongoing paradigmatic shift will affect the effectiveness of arms control as a conflict management instrument.
- Arms Control Law (2012) INTL KZ5624 .A748 2012
This is a collection of articles and academic essays on the international laws regarding weapons proliferation. The collection is broken into four parts: nonproliferation; nuclear weapons; chemical and biological weapons; missiles; and UN Security Council and nonproliferation law.
- Assessing the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (2009)
This publication is available in print and online. This publication covers the history of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. This UN register collects information on the export of conventional arms by different countries. This publication includes charts with information on the global and regional participation in this registry.
- Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy, and Human Security (2008) INTL JZ5645 .B36 2008
This work covers the ten years after the signing of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. This collection of essays examines topics ranging from how the treaty is relevant in the context of more recent security issues to the need for landmine victim assistance. Activists and diplomats, who were involved in the Mine Ban treaty creation process and its global implementation, wrote these essays.
- Enforcing European Union Law on Exports of Dual-Use Goods (2009) KJE6794 .W48 2009
In this work, the author examines the export of dual-use goods under EC Dual-use Council Regulation (EC) 1334/2000. The author outlines how EU member nations decided what regulations and arrangements are needed at the national level to enforce this EC regulation. In addition, there are case studies on the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and the UK.
- International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (2009)
This is available in print and online. This work outlines the history and current situation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The author does this by reviewing non-proliferation treaties, including dual-use export control regulations. The author also examines the role of the UN in monitoring and enforcing WMD policies.
- Putting Teeth in the Tiger: Improving the Effectiveness of Arms Embargoes (2009) INTL JZ5687 .P88 2009
Iraq, Pakistan, Angola, Liberia and the Great Lakes region of Africa are the geographic regions covered in this work. A unique feature of this work is the statistical data on the success of arms embargoes. An accompanying collection of essays puts into context the statistical data presented in this work.
- Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters (2008)
This available online. In succinct manner, Dr. Hans Blix, outlines the challenges and progress of nuclear non-proliferation. He reviews the history of nuclear non-proliferation treaties, and he makes recommendations for the next stage of non-proliferation treaty negotiations.
There are many treaties associated with arms control. Some are more general and apply to a group of weapons (e.g. Chemical Weapons Convention) or they may specifically address one type of arms (e.g. 1997 Mine Ban Treaty). The links below are divided into those offering large collections of treaties and those linking to selective specific treaties. Many of the resources listed below are freely available. For further assistance with treaty research, please see library's research guide on this topic.
- The Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC)
This bureau is under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. According to a statement on their web site, their main concern is "arms control, verification and compliance with international arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements or commitments." Their web site has a list of treaties ranging from the Geneva Protocol to Start II.
- The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN)
This bureau is under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. This bureau consists of several offices within the U.S. government. This bureau has listed many treaties that are in force for the U.S., including some bilateral treaties.
- International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA)
These treaties, conventions and agreements are deposited under the auspices of the IAEA. Also, available on this web site are IAEA related treaties; these are treaties are related to the work of the IAEA, for example Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (also known as the London Dumping Convention).
- Rules of Warfare; Arms Control (From the Multilaterals Project, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University - this project is archived and no longer being updated)
This collection of treaties is more historical in nature. However, it is a good list of treaties dating from the 1960's to the late 1990's.
- United Nations Office for Disarmament Commission
This is under the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). The commission maintains the text and status of numerous treaties. You can also browse by country the status of multilateral arms regulations and disarmament agreements.
- United Nations Treaty Collection
This database has several categories of treaty-related data, such as status of multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary General, the UN Treaty series and recently deposited multilateral treaties.
Selective Specific Instruments
- Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM treaty) U.S.-U.S.S.R., May 26, 1972, 23 U.S.T. 3435.
The U.S. State Department includes on their web site the text of the treaty, protocols, statements and Five Year Treaty Reviews. Available, in the archived version of their web site, are the diplomatic note and press release about the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty.
- Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (not yet in force), U.N. Doc A/50/1027 (available from the UN documents database), 35 I.L.M. 1439, S. Treaty Doc. No. 105-28 (not ratified).
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and their Destruction, Apr. 10,1972, 26 U.S.T. 583, 1015 U.N.T.S. 163.
This is also known as the Biological Weapons Convention.
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer
of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, Sept. 18, 1997, 2056 U.N.T.S. 211, 36 I.L.M. 1507.
This is also referred to as the Mine Ban Treaty or the Ottawa treaty. The UN Office for Disarmament web site has additional materials, such as final reports from the Meeting of States Parties and article 7 reports.
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Jan. 13 1993, 32 I.L.M. 800, S. Treaty Doc. No. 103-21 (1993).
This is also known as the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, June 17, 1925, 26 U.S.T. 571, 94 L.N.T.S. 65.
This is also known as the Geneva Protocol.
- Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, July 1, 1968, 21 U.S.T. 483, 729 U.N.T.S. 161.
- Treaty with Russia on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, U.S.-Russia, April 8, 2010, S. Treaty Doc. No. 111-5 (2010).
This is also known as the New START treaty.
Journal articles are a good way to obtain background information, locate the text of a foreign law, a citation, or locate information about a subject. Westlaw and Lexis provide excellent coverage of U.S. law reviews, but you should consider expanding your journal research to foreign journals and indexes for more comprehensive and global coverage. For information on other journal databases, see our Using Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research for a complete list.
If you already have a citation and would like to read the article, simply type the journal name as a title search in the library catalog. The results will tell you if we have print, electronic, or both. Be sure to check coverage dates or volume numbers to determine if your particular volume or issue is available. If the library does not have the journal article, you may request the article through interlibrary loan and we will ask another library to make a photocopy.
Below are listed a few of the most commonly used resources for locating articles on arms control.
- Cambridge University Press Journals
This full-text database offers both legal and non-legal journals published by Cambridge University. We suggest using advanced searching.
- Kluwer Law International
This has a broad collection of international journals, especially useful for European Union research.
- Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP)
A multilingual index to articles and book reviews appearing in approximately 490 legal journals published worldwide. This is the best resource to search for foreign language legal journal articles. Please note this is not a full-text database.
- Oxford University Press
This full-text database has both legal and non-legal journals published by Oxford University. You can limit to a particular journal or to the subject law.
This legal database contains the full text of legal documents in PDF format, in several collections. The Law Journal Library contains articles from most major law reviews and law journals. Approximately 650 law journals and reviews are included, beginning with the inception date of each publication. For this topic it can be particular helpful to review older law journals for a more wide-ranging view of this topic.
For researching arms control, there are some excellent resources freely available on various organizations' web sites. These organizations range from NGOs to IGOs to private organizations. Below is a sampling of some the major organizations; please view this list as a good starting point and not as an exhaustive list.
- The Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
They maintain a comprehensive and searchable Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations & Regimes, which includes international organizations, treaties, and agreements related to disarmament and nonproliferation.
- The Conference on Disarmament
This single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum was established in 1979. It is the successor to the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962-68), and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-78).
- International Campaign to Ban Landmines
They have annual reports, working group information, news about national legislation implementation activity, and treaty information.
- United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
This site has text and status of various treaties, regional disarmament information, and a database of UN General Assembly resolutions (52nd - 61st sessions) concerning weapons, disarmament, and nonproliferation.
- United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
This autonomous institute within the UN conducts research on disarmament and security issues. Their goal is to assist and inform the international community and encourage state participation in arms control and reduction. Publications are on topics such as small arms control, states views on an arms trade treaty, arms control in outer space, etc.
- Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (U.S. Dept. of State)
This bureau has information on treaties, links to sanctions laws and executive orders, policy statements and much more.
- Bureau of Political Affairs (U.S. Dept. of State)
This bureau manages several programs that may be of interest to arms control researchers such as weapons removal, arms transfers, defense trade controls, and Article 98 agreements.
- Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation (U.S. Dept. of State)
This bureau provides oversight on matters relating to verification of international arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements. This office also assesses other nations' compliance. This bureau prepares Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament
Agreements and Commitments and the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers reports.
- Bradford Disarmament Research Centre
This research center is part of the Peace Studies department at the University of Bradford and has resources under their publications on topics such as biological weapons, chemical weapons, and nuclear weapons.
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Their Nonproliferation Program has organized their links under several headings and search bars. Materials are organized by subtopics such as disarmament, nonproliferation, threat reduction and test ban. At the bottom of the home page, there is a black bar with links to current and relevant news and analysis from around the world.
- Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons
They have a useful bibliography of resources (with links to full text) relating to the European Union and weapons of mass destruction including statements, decisions, regulations, and other materials.
- Henry L. Stimson Center
This research center has research pages on such topics as Biological & Chemical Weapons and Nuclear Weapons. There are links to full text of analysis, briefings, books, and book reports. In addition, there are links to relevant subtopics.
This UK based organization provides research and training on effective verification on implementing international agreements. There is a listing of national implementing legislation (with links to full text if available) and very useful fact sheets on various treaties.
Many organizations publish traditional print journals that are now available on the web. The sites listed below offer free full text access. You should also search the journal databases offered by the Law Library. A research guide on searching foreign and international journals is also available.
- Arms Control Today
This is published by the Arms Control Association and issues are available since 1997 to current. The Wolff Library has the print edition from 1982-2009 and online, as PDF's, from 1992 to present.
- Disarmament Diplomacy
This is published by the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and has from the first issue to the most current. This publication is also available in print format from the first issue forward.
- Nonproliferation Review
All of the issues are available on the web with a search feature. It is a publication of the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies. It is also available in print in the Wolff Library from 1993 to 2009.
Georgetown Law Library subscribes to several databases that are useful to research in this topic.
- Digital National Security Archive
This has as many collections that include images of declassified primary documents, including top-secret materials. You can search the entire database or only within a specific collection. Some collections that are relevant to disarmament and arms control are the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962, U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Arms and Politics in the Missile Age 1955-1968, and U.S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy 1945-1991.
- OECD iLibrary
This is the only comprehensive database of OECD publications and include statistics, public policy research and economics data. On the home page on the left side of the page, under "Browse", and then under "Theme", you can select "Nuclear Energy" as one of the options.
- SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
This website has several databases, which focus on "conflicts, arms transfers and military expenditure and economic and social statistics."
Revised May 2013 (hec)
Links December 2009 (ras)
Content added Apr. 2008 (mms)
Revised 11/2007 (mms)
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