Instruments of Insecurity

Small Arms and Contemporary Violence

Authored by: Keith Krause

The Routledge Handbook of New Security Studies

Print publication date:  January  2010
Online publication date:  January  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484374
eBook ISBN: 9780203859483
Adobe ISBN: 9781135166205


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The risk of violent conflict has long been at the centre of reflections on security and security studies. Traditionally, this has been translated into the study of war or legally recognized ‘armed conflict’ between organized groups. As far back as Quincy Wright’s A Study of War, the central object of analysis was defined as ‘a form of conflict involving a high degree of legal equality, of hostility, and of violence in the relations of organized human groups’ (Wright 1964: 7). 1 More recently, Steven Walt defined the field of security studies as ‘the study of the threat, use, and control of military force … the conditions that make the use of force more likely, the ways that the use of force affects individuals, states and societies, and the specific policies that states adopt in order to prepare for, prevent, or engage in war’ (Walt 1991: 212).

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