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15 - The Cold War History of the Landmines Convention

from Part II - The Generative/Productive Cold War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2019

Matthew Craven
Affiliation:
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Sundhya Pahuja
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne
Gerry Simpson
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

This chapter has attempted to explore three ideas. First, that there was in fact considerable work and effort invested in regulating and prohibiting landmines since the end of the Second World War, and the 1997 treaty in large part rested on that earlier work. Indeed, the success of the Landmines Convention cannot be properly understood without this historical context. Second, the longer history in turn reveals an important story of the developing world actively engaged in pursuing limits on indiscriminate weapons, and actively engaged in the pursuit of disarmament. While this changed across time as the developing world itself fractured and shifted, it remains an important part of the story of disarmament efforts in the Cold War, much of which has yet to be explored. Finally, the story exposes the fallacy that ‘humanitarian disarmament’ is a creature of the post–Cold War era in the sense that especially from the South (but generally as well), there was deep and abiding concern about the humanitarian impacts of indiscriminate weapons.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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