Arms and Influence explores the complex relationship between technology, policymaking, and international norms. Modern technological innovations such as the atomic bomb, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and advanced reconnaissance satellites have fostered debates about the boundaries of international norms and legitimate standards of behavior. These advances allow governments new opportunities for action around the world and have, in turn, prompted a broader effort to redefine international standards in areas such as self-defense, sovereignty, and preemptive strikes.
In this book, Jeffrey S. Lantis develops a new theory of norm change and identifies its stages, including redefinition (involving domestic political deliberations) and constructive norm substitution (in multilateral institutions). He deftly takes some of the most controversial new developments in military technologies and embeds them in international relations theory. The case evidence he presents suggests that periods of change are underway across numerous different issue areas.
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Jeffrey S. Lantis is Professor of Political Science at The College of Wooster.
Contents and Abstracts1Introduction chapter abstractThis chapter provides an introduction to the book and the complex relationship between technology, policy-making, and international norms. It describes the basic contours of the theoretical model and case studies. It presents a brief survey of constructivist international relations theory, social construction of technology theory, and relevant foreign policy analysis models. It also previews how technology innovations may be linked to fundamental norm changes over time-especially how modern technological innovations have fostered fascinating and complex debates about the boundaries of international norms and legitimate standards of behavior.
2Theorizing Norm Change chapter abstractThis chapter establishes theoretical foundations for a new model of norm change. It surveys scholarly advances in first- and second-generation constructivism, and related insights from sociology and international law, that support a dynamic model of norm development. It presents a new, three-stage model of elite-driven change focused on technology innovations and the recognition of "techno-normative dilemmas," redefinition of commitments in the domestic political arena, and contestation and constructive norm substitution in multilateral settings. This chapter also outlines the research design and methodology for the study, including the potential for variable levels of success for strategies of norm change.
3The Atom Bomb: Constructing a Nuclear Order chapter abstractThis chapter explores the process of scientific discovery and advancement that contributed to the Manhattan Project, as well as the political implications of this dramatic innovation. While President Truman initially backed plans for the creation of a multilateral commission to control, and perhaps even eliminate, nuclear weapons, U.S. policies evolved significantly in the face of changing circumstances over the next two decades. The nuclear nonproliferation norm that eventually emerged from a process of contestation was multifaceted and discriminatory. This case study adopts the three-stage model of norm change to explore the construction of the modern nuclear nonproliferation norm, with an emphasis on its subjective and dynamic character.
4Atoms for Peace? New Nuclear Technology Export Controls chapter abstractThis chapter explores how the global nuclear nonproliferation order established during the Cold War failed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. In the face of new evidence that countries were diverting sensitive technologies, including centrifuges for gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment, and reprocessing, to develop fissile material for bombs, great powers struggled to further tighten and refine the nonproliferation norm over time through redefinition and constructive norm substitution. Though the international community has made progress through institutions and supply cartels, but assesses this norm change process as continuing to undergo contestation. This case study clearly underscores the contested and politicized nature of the norm change process.
5Satellites and Sovereignty: Humanitarian Intervention and the "Responsibility to Protect" chapter abstractThe norm of state sovereignty and non-intervention has guided the international community for nearly 400 years. This case study explores how new technologies such as advanced satellite reconnaissance have allowed states and non-state actors to revisit traditional sovereignty norms in the face of mass political violence. New capabilities that allow the world to see and know about mass atrocities have facilitated critical diplomatic discourses on the evolution of a new "responsibility to protect" (R2P) humanitarian intervention norm. The chapter also explores how new, non-state actors have become engaged in pressuring governments to respond to mass atrocities.
6Armed UAVs and the Norm Against Assassination of Foreign Adversaries chapter abstractThis chapter examines how the development of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) has raised critical questions about modern warfare and the norm against assassination of foreign adversaries. It surveys technological developments led by the United States and Israel that helped produce modern armed drones, and then explores critical questions related to the rapid proliferation of these systems around the world, and questions of ethics, legality, and efficacy. The chapter examines U.S. development of UAVs and its campaign to convince critics of the utility and legitimacy of prudential use of this new weapons technology, while at the same time balancing new capabilities versus interests in the awareness that substitution of new norm frames also may increase the potential for blowback.
7The Final Frontier? Weaponizing Space chapter abstractThis chapter explores how space technology innovations have emboldened states to seek dominance in a realm beyond terra firma, and to attempt to change the normative architecture to legitimize their actions. The superpowers attempted to stabilize the Cold War "space race" through the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, but subsequent advances in space-based platforms and anti-satellite technologies suggested the United States might seek space dominance. The chapter also outlines have the past decade has seen the low-technology threat of space debris become a catalyst for changes in great power policies, with the potential for completion of an International Code of Conduct for space.
8Conclusion chapter abstractThis chapter presents a detailed analysis and comparison of case study evidence in order to determine patterns in the top-down pathway of norm change that infuses greater agency into the constructivist model. This study has clearly shown that significant norm dynamics may occur beyond the final stage of the traditional norm life-cycle model, but suggests mixed results in the process of norm change. In some instances, such as the cases of the development of the discriminatory nonproliferation regime and targeted killing of foreign adversaries by unmanned aerial vehicle, U.S. leaders have achieved some success. However, in other cases, such as attempts to regulate sensitive nuclear technology exports or develop an international code of conduct for outer space, the responsibility to protect, and scientific innovations and attempts to exploit them have fostered contestation of the norm and ongoing debate about legitimacy of new frames and bandwagoning behavior.
"In Arms and Influence, Lantis offers a novel approach to understanding norm change that is rooted in technological innovation. This book is a solid contribution to literature on international security, and will spur new research and debate into the interrelationship of technological and normative change." -- James W. Davis * University of St. Gallen * "Through rigorous case study analysis, Jeffrey Lantis demonstrates the manner in which technological advances spur U.S. elites to review, modify, or replace international norms of appropriate behavior in the security realm. An important contribution to the critical constructivist understanding of normative change-and stasis." -- Shirley Scott * UNSW Australia * "[T]his is a theoretically rigorous and stimulating book, which will interest scholars of constructivism, international norm regimes and American foreign policy." -- Emil Archambault * <i> Political Studies Review</i> * "Overall, the book is very interesting to read, from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. It raises a number of provocative ideas, particularly in regard to the notion of the dynamics of norms and how actors in the international system might move from one norm to another. The author should also be commended for organization and clarity. For a book on technological innovation, it is not overly jargon-laden...The book, therefore, is appropriate for and will interest both students and scholars who are interested in norms, international security, technology, and the role of hegemonic, if not great power, states. Such readers are likely to find much to reflect on by the conclusion of the book." -- John Sislin * <i>H-War</i> *
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