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Title: The demand for small arms and light weapons in Senegal
Author: Chang, Patty
ISNI:       0000 0000 9638 7844
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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Most scholarly research and international policy initiatives on small arms control (SALW) tend to focus exclusively on the supply side of arms control, while the demand side for small arms remains relatively unexplored. The general assumption is that by regulating the international and regional supply of SALW, and by preventing and tracking the illicit flow that drift into the open markets, armed violence can be reduced. However, empirical evidence suggests that attempts to control and reduce the supply of weapons through sanctions, embargoes, and regional commitments alone have hardly stopped or mitigated armed conflict. In looking at the global arms trade, one sees that often countries subjected to supply side restrictions have managed to acquire arms through finding willing sellers, black market acquisitions, and/or domestic production. This dissertation examines the factors that drive the demand for SALW in weak states by identifying the important gaps in literature on demand, providing a consistent and systematic framework to address these gaps, and applying the framework to a single country case study. The main argument in this study is that in order to understand group arming behaviour, its relationship to the dynamics of armed conflict, and the kind of incentives integral to the design of interventions that seek to influence behaviours associated with arms acquisitions during post-conflict arms management, there needs to be a better understanding of the independent variables shaping the demand for SALW. Too often, analysts conflate the reasons why groups acquire SALW with the reasons why groups go to war. However, if the act of acquiring SALW occurs at a different point in time from the process of organising and planning armed conflict, the two events need to be analysed separately. This study uses a human security analytical approach to understand sources of threats to security at the household level. It employs a nationally representative rapid household survey (n=1200) on SALW ownership, acquisition and attitudes, and focus group discussions (n=77) implemented in select locations to unpack responses which have not been thoroughly addressed during the survey. In-depth interviews with key informants, civilian firearm permit records, and public health data were also collected to supplement primary data. The design is applied to a single case study, the Casamance in Senegal. This study illustrates that an increased level of weapons accumulation does not always necessitate an automatic rise in SALW related violence or local level arms races at the outset of armed conflict. This works contributes to the growing body of literature on SALW by advancing an analytically applicable concept of demand to increase our understanding of what motivates the choices groups make in acquiring and using small arms. Lastly, this study develops a replicable template that can be applied to further research on SALW demand in conflict-ridden regions.
Supervisor: MacFarlane, S. N. Sponsor: Gilbert Murray Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Statistics (social sciences) ; Ethnic minorities and ethnicity ; War (politics) ; Political ideologies ; Governance in Africa ; Political science ; Violence (refugees) ; Small arms (refugees) ; Human security ; Conflict ; Civil society ; Social Sciences ; small arms ; West Africa ; peacebuilding ; disarmament