Negotiating Disarmament: Lessons learnt from Colombia, Nepal, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka

Led by Nicholas Marsh

Nov 2020 – Nov 2022

‘Negotiating Disarmament’ is led by Nicholas Marsh and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is part of a wider PRIO initiative on disarmament and peace processes, which includes the DISARM project led by Júlia Palik. This work builds on over two decades of research at PRIO on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the effects of these flows, and how to manage them. 

Disarmament is often characterized as a necessary condition for peace to prevail in the aftermath of civil conflicts. Yet implementation is contingent on what has been negotiated behind closed doors, a process that so far has received little attention. Without knowledge of the positions, motivations, and interests of parties involved in disarmament negotiations, our understanding of particular disarmament outcomes remains incomplete. To fill this gap, we examined negotiations on disarmament in Colombia, Nepal, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. Our findings focus on the degree of inclusivity in the negotiations, the symbolic relevance of disarmament, and the various roles of external parties in disarmament negotiations.

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