Because we have the Maxim Gun: the relationship between arms and violence beyond the Weberian state

Led by Nicholas Marsh
Mar 2005 -

​​​​​The work on this PHD project at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, is conducted at PRIO.

Supervisors:
Halvard Buhaug, PRIO
Anne Julie Semb, University of Oslo

This project examines the effects of the proliferation of weapons upon violence in developing countries. It is concerned with the acquisition of weapons by non-state groups involved in warfare, other forms of political violence, and crime.

The research associated with this project has focussed upon:

  • The licit and illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons
  • Governance of arms in developing countries
  • Changes in 'street prices' for assault rifles in conflict zones
  • The type of weapon that caused death and injury in civil wars
  • Cross-national comparisons of the relationship between homicide and seizures of illicit arms
  • The factors that explain military victory by rebel forces in civil war

Work has mainly focussed upon collecting data, and datasets have been created on arms prices, arms possession in Libya, and global seizures of firearms.

The research associated with this project has been presented at numerous policy forums, including at United Nations conferences on the arms trade in 2013 and 2015, at a UN expert meeting in 2016, at the European Commission, and to the Norwegian government. Nicholas Marsh has also worked as a consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime​ on arms trafficking and to the Geneva based Small Arms Survey​, and is part of a EUROPOL expert panel on firearms trafficking.    

Nicholas Marsh has frequently been quoted in international media on arms acquisition and conflict, including a recent articles in the New York Times, Bloomberg and Deutsche Welle. Nicholas Marsh maintains a Twitter account​ with over 1 500 followers that contains daily news on arms proliferation, particularly to conflict zones. He has also written several recent blog posts​ on arms acquisition and political violence. 

In addition to the publications listed below, articles currently under review in peer reviewed journals are:

  • Arms and intervention: building rebel military capability and the 2011 Libyan civil war
  • The only thing we want is weapons: arms availability, prices, and civil war
  • Reaching for the gun: the relationship between homicide and illicit arms 

Members

Research Groups

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Marsh, Nicholas (2015) Firearms Seizures and Trafficking: A «Local» Phenomenon, The Strategic Trade Review 1(1): 73–87.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Conflict Specific Capital: The Role of Weapons Acquisition in Civil War, International Studies Perspectives 8(1): 54–72.

Book Chapter

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 Nicholas Marsh, ed., 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 Nicholas Marsh, ed., Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (43–63).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Marsh, Nicholas; Patrick Herron ; Matt Schroeder & Jasna Lazarevic (2010) Emerging From Obscurity: The Global Ammunition Trade, in Small Arms Survey 2010 Gangs Groups and Guns. Cambridge : Cambridge (7–39).
Dreyfus, Pablo; Nicholas Marsh; Matt Schroeder & Jasna Lazarevic (2009) Sifting the Sources Authorized Small Arms Transfers, in Small Arms Survey 2009 Shadows of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (6–59).

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.

Report - Other

Marsh, Nicholas; Aaron Karp; & Giorgio Ravalgi (2015) UNODC Study on Firearms 2015 Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.