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International Arms Control Research Guide

This guide supports research in the international law of arms control in both primary and secondary materials.


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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: You may also submit your question via this online form.

Background Resources

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 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.