Taking Aim at the Arms Trade: NGOs, Global Civil Society and the World Military Order (BOK)
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"Taking Aim at the Arms Trade" takes a critical look at the ways in which NGOs portray the arms trade as a problem of international politics and the strategies they use to effect change. Whilst NGOs have been pivotal in bringing the suffering caused by the arms trade to public attention and documenting its negative impacts on human rights, conflict, security and development around the world, their overall activity has the perverse effect of justifying the status quo in the arms trade. They unintentionally contribute to the generation of consent for a hierarchical and asymmetrical world military order, facilitating intervention in the global South based on liberal understandings of the arms trade and associated issues of conflict, development and human rights. As a consequence, their actions contribute to the construction of the South as a site of Northern benevolence and intervention, a stark contrast to NGOs' self-image and widespread reputation as progressive actors. In exposing the contradictions inherent in NGOs engagement with the arms trade, Stavrianakis argues forcefully for a change of approach that can avoid such damaging outcomes.