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Defining & Classifying SALW: Standardising the language of small arms and light weapons in the international context

Jenzen-Jones, Nicholas Royce (2023) Defining & Classifying SALW: Standardising the language of small arms and light weapons in the international context. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

Defining & Classifying SALW, Standardising the Language of Small Arms & Light Weapons in the International Context - N.R. Jenzen-Jones (2023) - FINAL.pdf - Submitted Version
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Abstract or description

This Critical Appraisal explores the challenges and importance of defining small arms and light weapons (SALW) using precise and internationally applicable terminology. It draws on three of the author’s earlier publications that collectively address the need for a robust framework to classify SALW based on their observable properties. By focusing on these inherent qualities, the author’s research proposes a foundation for definitions which can transcend national and occupational boundaries. The Critical Appraisal highlights the deficiencies in existing definitions, which often lack nuance and fail to distinguish between key types of arms, relying instead on incomplete lists of examples or vague terminology. These limitations hinder effective international cooperation on SALW-related issues. The author’s research emphasises the need to move away from extensional and role-based definitions towards intensional definitions based on the mechanical and physical characteristics of SALW. The Critical Appraisal highlights the significance of terminology for effective international collaboration and meaningful communication in the academic and lay contexts. It weaves together the evolving narrative of the three publications, starting with the co-edited handbook, An Introductory Guide to the Identification of Small Arms, Light Weapons, and Associated Ammunition, followed by the book chapter, ‘Classifying Firearms’, and culminating in the most recent publication, The ARES Arms and Munitions Classification System (ARCS). The works underpinning this Critical Appraisal draw upon a variety of research techniques, including literature review, document analysis, technical analysis, legal review, mechanical assessments, and expert interviews. The Critical Appraisal underscores, in particular, the comprehensive and practical nature of ARCS, its adoption by esteemed organisations, and its relevance to fields such as political science, international relations, defence studies, and international law. Ongoing development of ARCS and other initiatives will continue to enhance technical communication surrounding SALW, promoting consistency and clarity in the classification of arms and munitions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Sociology, Criminology and Terrorism
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2024 11:27
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 11:27

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