Global Cultural Change and the Transnational Campaign to Ban Antipersonnel Landmines: A Research Agenda
This main goal of this project is twofold. To begin with, it will seek to trace historically the constitution and interpretation of global (or, at least, increasingly globalized) cultural standards of ‘civilized’ international behaviour and their corresponding effects upon shared understandings of anti-personnel landmines as instruments of organized violence. In other words, it will attempt to provide a sort of genealogy of the global campaign to ban landmines, tracing the long-term historical evolution of efforts to stigmatize and delegitimize these weapons against the backdrop of periodic changes in the global cultural script defining the nature of ‘civilized’ or ‘responsible’ international conduct. As importantly, however, it will also seek to shed some conceptual light on recent (and still ongoing) efforts to stigmatize and ban landmines on the basis of their putative ‘inherent inhumanity’. In this connection, the goal is not so much to answer the question ‘why have landmines been banned’, but rather to address the question ‘how has it become possible, indeed common-sensical, for certain states and non-state actors to understand landmines as being “inherently inhumane” and thus deserving of proscription’?