Small arms control in Africa

Lina Grip

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


The thesis explores African small arms control practices and how these have emerged and changed over time. The thesis traces the origin of small arms control practices in Africa by using a historical narrative methodology. It then categorizes and interprets the findings using a critical theory, historical-relationalism , and identifies five different small arms control practices embedded in different historical periods: the pre-colonial, the imperial, the colonial, the decolonial and the neoliberal governance system. These systems are described, compared and situated in their historical contexts. The neoliberal governance system is specifically explored through an in-depth case study of the Nairobi Protocol. The Nairobi Protocol is an intergovernmental convention adopted by states in East and Central Africa to address proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Based on the institutional design and implementation record of the Nairobi Protocol, as well as evidence of simultaneous ongoing militarism in member states, the author draws conclusions about neoliberal governance as small arms control practice. She finds that neoliberal governance of small arms is associated with technical-, administrative- and legal reforms, aimed at protecting state and market interests, by, for example, enhancing controls of weapon flows not sanctioned by the state, while enabling state sanctioned proliferation.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Helsinki
  • Patomäki, Heikki, Supervisor
Award date26 May 2017
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-951-51-3199-7
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-3200-0
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2017
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science

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