The Crisi/es of Arms Control

Multi­lateral arms control is in a deep crisis. This is apparent from numerous examples of possible or actual treaty with­drawals (INF Treaty, Open Skies Treaty), alleged or proven norm violations (Iran’s nuclear policy, chemical weapons in Syria) and un­resolved problems in existing treaty regimes (Arms Trade Treaty, Bio­logical Weapons Convention). While it may seem obvious to state a crisis, explaining its origins is a much more complex and challenging task.

The project plans to fulfil this task based on empirical analyses and theoretical conside­rations of the concept of ‘crisis‘. To this end, we will first capture the state of play and analyse the crises in various arms control fields. The second project phase will consist of cross-cutting, comparative and theoretically guided investigations into possible crisis patterns, the development of a typology of arms control crises, and the identification of their underlying causes.

Arms control fields under scrutiny include: bilateral nuclear arms control, nuclear disarma­ment and non-proliferation, biological and chemical weapons control, humanitarian arms control, the control of conven­tional weapons in Europe, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and the delibe­rations regarding the prohibition of lethal auto­nomous weapons systems.