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Dangerous TradeArms Exports, Human Rights, and International Reputation$
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Jennifer Erickson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170963

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170963.001.0001

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Explaining Compliance

Explaining Compliance

Domestic Reputation and Arms Trade Scandal

(p.106) 5. Explaining Compliance
Dangerous Trade

Jennifer L. Erickson

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the domestic pressures on the states' compliance with “responsible” arms export controls. Public pressure is not itself responsible for recent developments on arms export controls as the public is simply uninterested. However, when violations of arms export controls are publicized, reputational costs arise, such as loss of government legitimacy and electoral retribution. The threat of scandal, along with the need to maintain a good social reputation in the international community drives states to comply with arms export controls. This chapter then looks at the traditions of secrecy and silence in the arms trade among major arms-producing states.

Keywords:   domestic pressures, arms export controls, public pressure, government legitimacy, electoral retribution, threat of scandal, social reputation, arms-producing states

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