Nicholas Marsh

Researcher, NISAT

Nicholas Marsh
Email: nic@prio.org
Work phone: 4722 54 77 72
Twitter: @NISATprio
CV: Download CV

Research Interests

NISAT online database and archive of small arms transfers, production, and regulations. See http://nisat.prio.org 

Twitter account on the small arms trade at @NisatPrio 

Primary:

  • Global trade in small arms and light weapons.
  • Relationship between arms, governance and violence.
  • Arms trafficking.
  • Data and methodology used to research the trade in small arms and light weapons.
  • Arms acquisition by non-state parties involved in civil war.
  • Arms export and transfer controlls.

Secondary:

  • The role of regional organisations (in the arms trade).
  • The EU's security and foreign policy (as concerns arms).
  • Multilateral diplomacy (concerning arms control).
  • Armed violence.
  • Homicide (with firearms).
  • Conflict deaths (with small arms and light weapons).

Background

​​​​Languages spoken:

English, learning Norwegian

Work experience:

2014 - 2015 

Consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, worked on a global report on firearms trafficking.  

2004 - 2008
Chair, European research Network COST Action A25 'European Small Arms and the Perpetuation of Violence'

2001 - present
Research Fellow, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo

2001 - present
Consultant to the Small Arms Survey (work on the global trade in small arms and light weapons)

1995 - 2001
Several positions, including work for the UK Defence Forum

Education:

MA International Conflict Analysis - University of Kent at Canterbury - 1994-1995
BSc Economics - International Relations and Area Studies (East Asia) - University of Wales, Aberystwyth - 1991-1994

Events

PRIO started tracking events online in 2007. This listing is not complete. Past events may be mentioned in our news archive.

Publications

​From 2012, PRIO Researchers will register their publications in a national database called CRISTIN. Go to Nic Marsh's CRISTIN page.

Recent Publications

Dick, Shannon; Camelia Fatema; Ishtiaq Khan; Shara Khandakar; Daniel Mack; Nicholas Marsh; Farzana Mir; Alavi Mirza; Robert Perkins; Deepayan Ray; & Rachel Stohl (2017) ATT Monitor Report 2017, ATT Monitor. New York: Control Arms.
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Angola, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies (1–8).
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute For Security Studies (14–24).
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Mozambique, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies.
Holden, Paul; Sarah Detzner; Bridget Conley-Zilkic; Alex de Waal; John Dunne; Andrew Feinstein; William Hartung; Paul Holtom; Lora Lumpe; Nicholas Marsh; Sam Perlo-Freeman; Hennie van Vuuren & Leah Wawro (2017) Indefensible Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade. London: Zed Books.
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Brothers Came Back with Weapons: The Effects of Arms Proliferation from Libya, PRISM 6(4): 79–96.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Brothers Came Back with Weapons: The Effects of Arms Proliferation from Libya, PRISM 6(4): 79–96.
Marsh, Nicholas (2015) Firearms Seizures and Trafficking: A «Local» Phenomenon, The Strategic Trade Review 1(1): 73–87.
Hansen, Susanne & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Normative power and organized hypocrisy: European Union member states’ arms export to Libya, European Security 24(2): 264–286.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Conflict Specific Capital: The Role of Weapons Acquisition in Civil War, International Studies Perspectives 8(1): 54–72.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Taming the Tools of Violence, Journal of Public Health Policy 28(4): 401–409.

Monograph

Holden, Paul; Sarah Detzner; Bridget Conley-Zilkic; Alex de Waal; John Dunne; Andrew Feinstein; William Hartung; Paul Holtom; Lora Lumpe; Nicholas Marsh; Sam Perlo-Freeman; Hennie van Vuuren & Leah Wawro (2017) Indefensible Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade. London: Zed Books.

Book Chapter

Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Angola, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies (1–8).
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute For Security Studies (14–24).
Marsh, Nicholas (2017) Mozambique, in Alusala, Nelson; & Mothepa Shadung, eds, Arms brokering in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies.
Greene, Owen & Nicholas Marsh (2016) A violência armada em sociedades não envolvidas em conflictos violentos, in Moura, Tatiana; José Manuel Pureza; & Rita Santos, eds, Violências e armas de fogo em Portugal. Coimbra: Livraria Almedina (31–86).
Marsh, Nicholas & Atina Karim (2015) Article 13 Reporting, in Wood, Brian; & Clare da Silva, eds, Weapons and International Law: the Arms Trade Treaty. Brussels, Ghent, Luxembourg, Paris: Larcier (213–230).
Grzybowski, Janis; Nicholas Marsh & Matt Schroeder (2012) Piece by Piece Authorized Transfers of Parts and Accessories, in Glenn MacDonald, ed., Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (240–281).
Greene, Owen & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Introduction, in Greene, Owen; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (1–11).
Kreutz, Joakim & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Lethal Instruments: Small Arms and Deaths in Armed Conflict, in Greene , Owen ; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, Small Arms, Crime and Conflict global governance and the threat of armed violence. London: Routledge (43–63).
Herron, Patrick; Matt Schroeder ; Jasna Lazarevic & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Larger but Less Known: Authorized Light Weapons Transfers, in The Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (8–41).
Greene , Owen & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Conclusions and Priorities for Further Research, in Nicholas Marsh, ed., Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (248–262).
Marsh, Nicholas & Owen Greene (2011) Governance and Small Arms and Light Weapons, in Nicholas Marsh, ed., Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (163–182).
Jackson, Thomas & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Guns and Deaths: A Critical Review, in Nicholas Marsh, ed., Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (105–121).
Kreutz, Joakim ; Manuela Torre & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Regaining State Control: Arms and Violence in Post-conflict Countries, in Greene , Owen ; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (64–76).
Greene , Owen & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Armed Violence within Societies, in Greene , Owen ; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London and New York : Routledge (79–104).
Herron, Patrick; Jasna Lazarevic ; Nicholas Marsh & Matt Schroeder (2010) Emerging From Obscurity: The Global Ammunition Trade, in Berman, Eric G.; Keith Krause; Glenn MacDonald; & Emile LeBrun, eds, Small Arms Survey 2010 Gangs Groups and Guns. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press (7–39).
Dreyfus, Pablo; Jasna Lazarevic; Nicholas Marsh & Matt Schroeder (2009) Sifting the Sources: Authorized Small Arms Transfers, in Le Brun, Emile; Eric G. Berman; Keith Krause; & Glenn McDonald, eds, Small Arms Survey 2009: Shadows of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (6–59).
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) The Nordic Countries and Conventional Arms Control: The Case of Small Arms and Light Weapons, in The Nordic Countries and the European Security and Defence Policy. Oxford: SIPRI.
Jackson, Thomas; Nicholas Marsh & Anne Thurin (2005) The Efficacy of EU Export Control Measures Concerning Small Arms and Light Weapons, in Small Arms and Light Weapons Transfers. Geneva: UNIDIR (53–78).
Marsh, Nicholas & Aaron Karp (2003) Insights and Mysteries: Global Small Arms Transfers, in Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied. Oxford: Small Arms Survey (97–123).

Edited Volume

Greene , Owen ; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, (2011) Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge. Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Marsh, Nicholas (2013) What has the Arms Trade Treaty done for us?, Peace in Progress 16: 4–5.
Marsh, Nicholas (2003) Significant Exporters of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Human Security Bulletin 1(4).
Marsh, Nicholas (2002) Two Sides of the Same Coin? The Legal and Illegal Trade in Small Arms, Brown Journal of World Affairs 9(1).

Popular Article

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Maral Mirshahi & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Killer robots – hvorfor ønsker man et forbud? [Killer Robots - The Quest for a Ban], NRK Ytring, 12 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community, Security & Defence Agenda, 9 May.
Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora; Nicholas Marsh & Maral Mirshahi (2014) The Struggle to Ban Killer Robots, Bullentin of Atomic Scientists, 7 May.
Marsh, Nicholas (2013) Ambition and activism on the arms trade, Reinventing Peace, 1 July.
Ormhaug, Christin Marsh & Nicholas Marsh (2006) Kontroll med våpenhandelen? [Control over the Arms Trade?], Dagbladet, 17 January.

Conference Paper

Marsh, Nicholas (2013) Aiming for Control: the need to include ammunition in the arms trade treaty, presented at Side event at the United Nations conference to negotiate the Arms Trade Treaty, United Nations, New York, 21.03.13 – 21.03.13.
Marsh, Nicholas (2013) Visualizing the Arms Trade: the need for public reporting, presented at Side event at the United Nations conference to negotiate the Arms Trade Treaty, United Nations, New York, 25.03.13 – 25.03.13.
Jackson, Thomas & Nicholas Marsh (2008) Causes and Costs of Gun Violence: A Critical EvaluationBrussels, Belgium, 17–19 March.
Marsh, Nicholas (2008) Dangerous Dealings: Arms Brokering and Regulations in Southern AfricaNew York, 18 July.
Jackson, Thomas; Nicholas Marsh & Julian Wagstaff (2007) Counting Guns - The NISAT Datasets on Small Arms Trade, presented at 11th Annual Conference on Economics and Security, Bristol, 5–7 July.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Disarm or Perish - Is Disarmament a Necessary Condition for Peace?, presented at COST Action A25 Working Group Meeting on Small Arms Acquisition and Conflict, Nicosia, 28–29 May.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Arms Transfers to Proxies in Darfur, presented at COST Action A25 Working Group Meeting on Small Arms Acquisition and Conflict, Nicosia, 28–29 May.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Tracking the Guns: International Diversion of Small Arms to Illicit Markets in Rio de JaneiroBrussels, Belgium, 16 May.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Disarm or Perish - Is Disarmament a Necessary Condition for Peace?Cape Town, 26–28 November.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) From Laws to Practice – Options for Regulatory Controls Over Arms Brokering, presented at a workshop on 'Control Over Brokering in SALW in SEE and the Caucasus', Zagreb, Croatia, 29–30 March.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Controlling Arms BrokeringPalias des Nations, Geneva, 27 November.
Widmer, Mireille; Nicholas Marsh & Maria Karapetyan (2006) Independent Summary of Statements, presented at Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, New York, 9–17 January.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Brokering of Small Arms and Light Weapons, presented at Meeting of the Small Arms Working Group, New York, 13 April.

PRIO Policy Brief

Marsh, Nicholas (2014) Defining the Scope of Autonomy, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.

PRIO Paper

Marsh, Nicholas & Gugu Dube (2014) Preventing Diversion: The Importance of Stockpile Management, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Corney, Neil & Nicholas Marsh (2013) Aiming for Control: The need to include ammunition in the Arms Trade Treaty, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Marsh, Nicholas (2008) Small Arms Imports and Exports by Central American States 2000-6.
Marsh, Nicholas; & Thomas Jackson (2007) Weapons Acquisition by Armed Groups in the Sudan Conflict Complex – A Review of Open SourcesOslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Narrative and Financial Report to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Activities of the NISAT Small Arms Project during 2006Oslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas; & Thomas Jackson (2007) Annual Progress Report for COST Action A25 European Small Arms and the Perpetutation of Violence.
Marsh, Nicholas; & Thomas Jackson (2006) Dataset of International Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons, for the EU Commission's Joint Research Centre. Oslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Evading European Controls on Arms TransfersOslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Activities of the NISAT project during 2005Oslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) The Activities of Akire Nemoto and Shimon YelinekOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas; & Thomas Jackson (2006) Estimated Number of Firearms Transferred During 2004Oslo.
Jackson, Thomas; & Nicholas Marsh (2006) Global Re-exports of Small Arms and Light WeaponsOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Imports of Small Arms and Light Weapons by the Government of Sudan 1992-2004Oslo.
Jackson, Thomas; & Nicholas Marsh (2006) Number of Units of Firearms Transferred as Reported to ComtradeOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas; & Thomas Jackson (2006) European Small Arms and the Perpetuation of ViolenceOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Global Small Arms Trade - Updated Agglomerated TablesOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) Estimating Guns: The Methodology of Estimating the Number of Firearms Transferred from Statistics on the Total Value of TransfersOslo.
Buchanan, Cate; Anne-Kathrin Glatz; Mireille Widmer; Nicholas Marsh; & Maria Karapetyan (2006) Overview of Governmental Statements, UN Small Arms Preparatory Committee. New York.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Accounting Guns: The Methodology Used in Developing Data Tables for the Small Arms Survey, Memorandum. Oslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Options for States Interested in Further Extending Regulatory Controls Over Brokering Small Arms and Light Weapons, Memorandum written for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Chair’s Review of the First Two Years of COST Action 25Oslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Accounting Guns: The Methodology Used in Developing Data Tables for the Small Arms SurveyOslo: NISAT/PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) Activities of the NISAT small arms project during 2004, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Oslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2005) The Methodology Used in Creating a Comtrade Based Dataset of Small Arms TransfersOslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2003) Evidence from Open Sources of: Nammo Multipurpose Ammunition Being Used in an Anti-personnel Role, or Procured with that Intention; and the Proliferation of Nammo 12.7mm Multipurpose Ammunition.
Marsh, Nicholas (2003) Counting Guns - The Methodology of Aggregating Small Arms Customs DataOslo.
Marsh, Nicholas (2003) Selling Guns to Murderers, Small Arms Survey. Oslo: PRIO.
Marsh, Nicholas (2003) Selling guns to murderersOslo.
Lumpe, Lora; & Nicholas Marsh (2001) Gathering the Facts on the Small Arms Trade. Report to the Ford Foundation on an internet-based database on small arms transfers in conjunction with the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT).

Report - External Series

Dick, Shannon; Camelia Fatema; Ishtiaq Khan; Shara Khandakar; Daniel Mack; Nicholas Marsh; Farzana Mir; Alavi Mirza; Robert Perkins; Deepayan Ray; & Rachel Stohl (2017) ATT Monitor Report 2017, ATT Monitor. New York: Control Arms.
Bromley, Mark; Shannon Dick; Elizabeth Kirkham; Ishtiaq Khan; Stuart Maslan; Nicholas Marsh; Robert Perkins; Deepayan Ray; Anna Stavrianakis; Rachel Stohl; & An Vranckx (2016) ATT Monitor Report 2016, ATT Monitor. New York: Control Arms.
Marsh, Nicholas; Aaron Karp; & Giorgio Ravalgi (2015) UNODC Study on Firearms 2015, UNODC. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Karim, Atina; & Nicholas Marsh (2015) State positions and practices concerning reporting and the Arms Trade Treaty, ATT Monitor, 1. New York: ATT Monitor.
Dreyfus, Pablo; & Nicholas Marsh (2006) Tracking the Guns: International Diversion of Small Arms to Illicit Markets in Rio de Janeiro, Viva Rio . Rio de Janeiro : Viva Rio.
Holm, Kyrre; Anne Thurin; & Nicholas Marsh (2006) Bullets Without Borders: Improving Control and Oversight Over Norwegian Arms Production, Exports and Investments, .. .
Marsh, Nicholas;Owen, Taylor;Jackson, Thomas; & Thurin, Anne (2005) Who Takes the Bullet? – The Impact of Small Arms Violence, Understanding the Issues, 3. : .
Lumpe, Lora; Maria Haug; Nicholas Marsh; & Martin Langvandslien (2002) Shining a Light on Small Arms Exports: The Record of State Transparency, NISAT/Small Arms Survey. Geneva.

Blog Posts

How did the San Bernardino Killers Obtain the Guns used to Commit the 2 December Massacre?

Posted by Nic Marsh on Monday, 7 December 2015

The guns were bought in a shop. How did the 13 November Paris Killers get their Guns? How did the Paris Killers Acquire their Guns?

How did the 13 November Paris Killers get their Guns?

Posted by Nic Marsh on Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Full details of the arms used in the 13 November massacres will emerge in time. This post provides some information on illicit automatic weapons, such as the Kalashnikov, in France, and how they reach illicit markets. Overall, it appears that there is a pool of several thousand illicit military style firearms in France and relatively small numbers are trafficked in from abroad. Such quantities mean that terrorists and criminals in France and neighbouring countries can obtain Kalashnikovs and similar weapons, and that should be a matter of great concern. Nevertheless, Europe is very far from being ‘awash’ with illegal Kalashnikovs ...

The Reality of Firearms Trafficking

Posted by Nic Marsh on Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The film The Lord of War and high profile trial of Victor Bout helped to seal in the public imagination the image of an illicit arms trafficker as being someone who smuggled planeloads of Kalashnikovs around the world and into war zones. Such characters do exist, but the reality of firearms trafficking (especially outside war zones) is very different. With two exceptions, the 48 participating countries did not have wars on their territories, so the study provides a picture of trafficking associated with criminality (and crime accounts for far more deaths than armed conflict).  Some of the findings from the study show ...

Surprising Trends Uncovered in New Homicide Visualization

Posted by Nic Marsh on Thursday, 21 May 2015

PRIO is a partner in a new global homicide monitor that has just been published. Hosted by the  Igarapé Institute in Brazil, the monitor presents counts and estimates of global homicide over the period 2000-2014 and is intended to provoke reflection and stimulate debate. The Monitor reports 437,000 homicides in 2012, the last year for which global estimates are available. A small number of countries account for a disproportionately large share of the global burden of homicide. For example, it is estimated that 2 out of every 5 people murdered around the world live in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela or South Africa. ...

The Effect of Proposed US Arms Supplies to Ukraine

Posted by Nic Marsh on Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A report published on Monday by the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs that calls for the US to supply Ukraine with arms has generated a lot of discussion on both sides of the Atlantic. Written by eight high ranking former US diplomats, defence and military personnel – Ivo Daalder, Michele Flournoy, John Herbst, Jan Lodal, Steven Pifer, James Stavridis, Strobe Talbott and Charles Wald – the report called for the supply by the USA of military equipment to Ukraine. Most of the equipment suggested is ‘non-lethal’, namely: radar that would identify the location ...

How did the Paris Killers Acquire their Guns?

Posted by Nic Marsh on Wednesday, 14 January 2015

At present we have very little information on the guns used last week by Saïd and Chérif Kouachi to commit a massacre at the offices of the publication Charlie Hebdo; and by Amedy Coulibaly in several shootings in Paris. They were armed with Kalashnikov pattern guns, however as nearly 200 different versions of the Kalashnikov have been produced around the world since the introduction of the AK-47, at the time of writing there isn’t enough information to start working out how they obtained the guns used in the attacks.  This blog post is intended to clarify one misconception that has ...

Fake Syria Video

Posted by Nic Marsh on Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Last week a video surfaced on YouTube which showed children being fired upon in a battleground in Syria. It shows a boy rescuing a girl from what looks like certain death. Dubbed the ‘hero boy’ video it was rapidly shared on social media and by the end of the week had been viewed millions of times. The film appeared to be a graphic depiction of a war crime – the deliberate attempt to kill non-combatant children. As you may have seen from the news coverage, on Friday it was revealed to be a fake, shot in Malta by Norwegian director ...

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community

Posted by Nic Marsh & Kristin B. Sandvik on Monday, 12 May 2014

On May 13-16 a United Nations (UN) expert meeting will discuss ‘questions relating to emerging technologies’ in lethal autonomous weapon systems. Such systems are distinguished by being mobile and selecting targets autonomously without direct human supervision. This type of expert meeting represents the lowest rung of the UN ladder. The Chair of the meeting will simply write up a report to be presented later in 2014 to the annual discussions by States on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. But the expert meeting in May could be the start of a process which might see the development of new national and international law to ...

Issues for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Posted by Nic Marsh on Friday, 4 April 2014

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was launched in April 2013 with the objective of achieving a ban on the development, production and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons. In May 2014, the issue will be discussed by a UN expert meeting under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva. At this stage, it is inevitable that there will be much debate and discussion over the scope and meaning of any future prohibition. The Campaign is still being shaped, and what will be necessary for its success is that over the next few years a group of ...

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