Jennifer Erickson, Ph.D.
Country: United States (Massachusetts)
Jennifer L. Erickson is an associate professor of Political Science and International Studies at Boston College. Her research interests include international security and arms control, small and major conventional weapons, sanctions and arms embargoes, and the new weapons and the laws and norms of war. Her book, Dangerous Trade: Conventional Arms Exports, Human Rights, and International Reputation (Columbia, 2015), explains states' commitment to and compliance with new multilateral arms export initiatives and is the winner of the APSA Foreign Policy Section's 2017 Best Book Award. She has ongoing projects on the politics of arms embargo imposition and compliance and the creation of laws and norms related to new weapons technologies. Currently, Erickson is also a faculty affiliate at MIT’s Security Studies Program and an Associate Editor at the journal Security Studies. Previously, she has held fellowships or affiliations at Stanford University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). She holds a B.A. in Political Science from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University.
International Law & Organization
Conventional Arms Trade
Why do states take the lead in diffusing norms they once resisted? I address this question in the context of new humanitarian arms trade norms, culminating in the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Although most major arms exporting states have supported the ATT and similar initiatives, only some have chosen to invest resources in becoming leaders of these initiatives to spread new norms beyond their borders. I examine British and German arms export policies and practices to argue that states that choose leadership following costly norm adoption may do so as a means to share the costs of those norms with other international actors and reduce future adaptation costs. By delving deeper into the agency of norm diffusion, the article offers insights into powerful states’ motivations for norm leadership following costly norm adoption, the dynamics of norm diffusion, and the institutional form international norms eventually take.
THE UNITED STATES IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST conventional arms exporter and sets what many consider the “gold standard” for national arms export policy. The U.S. defense industry also benefits from the world's largest defense budget, making it much less dependent on exports than companies elsewhere. As a result, the costs of multilateral arms export controls should be lower for the United States than for other countries. Even so, observers were not surprised to see the United States cast the sole no vote in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2006 to initiate the process to create an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and again in 2008 to continue the process. What was more surprising was its October 2009 decision to change course and support the ATT. This article seeks to explain the change in the U.S. position on the ATT, a policy shift that is both puzzling and important. U.S. opposition to the ATT fits with a broader trend of resisting multilateral cooperation on conventional arms issues over time and across presidential administrations. What changed? I argue that U.S. support cannot be explained as a codification of existing practice, and domestic actors have not actively pushed for the United States to sign on to the ATT. What, then, explains U.S. support? I use a quantitative analysis to show that U.S. conventional arms exports in practice have been largely inattentive to recipients' human rights records over time. This calls into question explanations for ATT support that rely on a close match between policy and practice. I then use a qualitative study to show that the Barack Obama administration's ATT policy reversal reflects changes in its strategic attitude toward multilateralism. Rather than a nod to public pressures at home, I argue that U.S. support for the ATT was part of the Obama administration's early bid to improve the United States' image abroad through multilateral reengagement. With high export standards already on the books, no formal enforcement built into the ATT, and congressional opposition to ratification, the United States would not have to sacrifice its arms export flexibility in exchange for ATT support. Whether the ATT will manage to address problems linked to conventional arms proliferation will therefore depend on a deeper U.S. commitment to the initiative and changes in practice by all top conventional arms exporters.
This article examines sending state compliance with arms embargoes. Arms embargoes are one of the most frequently used types of economic sanctions but they are perceived as one of the least effective. One major problem with arms embargoes, many argue, is sending states’ failure to implement them. Yet studies tend to focus on cases of arms embargo violations, not compliance in the context of arms export practice more broadly. Using a series of new arms embargo variables, I conduct a statistical analysis of the relationship between arms embargoes and small and major conventional arms transfers from 1981 to 2004. Contrary to popular expectations, I find that arms embargoes on average restrain sending states’ arms exports. If arms embargoes do indeed have difficulty changing targets’ behavior, or achieving other measures of ‘success’, additional explanations must also be considered. I suggest that arms embargo target selection and the intractable challenge of cutting off illicit arms flows are two important plausible alternatives. This finding also provides optimism for compliance with international commitments in the absence of institutionalized enforcement mechanisms. Major exporters overall appear to implement sanctions, despite strong economic incentives to ignore them and a lack of formal accountability mechanisms to punish violators.
Arms transfers are both an economic necessity for the European arms industry and a potential obstacle for the EU’s emerging normative power role. Nevertheless, research on how well EU members’ arms trade mirrors EU normative power rhetoric is scarce. To help fill this void, I use regression analysis to examine the relationship between EU arms exports and human rights, conflict, and democracy in recipient states from 1990 to 2004. A case study of the China embargo debate provides a more in-depth assessment of the politics behind EU arms transfers. Both analyses reveal a questionable relationship between EU norms and arms transfer practices. The findings suggest, first, that domestic-level material and normative concerns remain important to the formation and execution of EU foreign policy and, second, that low levels of EU socialization may hinder the creation of a single European external identity.
The United Nations's groundbreaking Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which went into effect in 2014, sets legally binding standards to regulate global arms exports and reflects the growing concerns toward the significant role that small and major conventional arms play in perpetuating human rights violations, conflict, and societal instability worldwide. Many countries that once staunchly opposed shared export controls and their perceived threat to political and economic autonomy are now beginning to embrace numerous agreements, such as the ATT and the EU Code of Conduct. Jennifer L. Erickson explores the reasons top arms-exporting democracies have put aside past sovereignty, security, and economic worries in favor of humanitarian arms transfer controls, and she follows the early effects of this about-face on export practice. She begins with a brief history of failed arms export control initiatives and then tracks arms transfer trends over time. Pinpointing the normative shifts in the 1990s that put humanitarian arms control on the table, she reveals that these states committed to these policies out of concern for their international reputations. She also highlights how arms trade scandals threaten domestic reputations and thus help improve compliance. Using statistical data and interviews conducted in France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Erickson challenges existing IR theories of state behavior while providing insight into the role of reputation as a social mechanism and the importance of government transparency and accountability in generating compliance with new norms and rules. Winner of the 2017 APSA Foreign Policy Section Best Book Award
Arms control attempts to manage the acquisition and use of weapons in international politics, with the goal of preventing the outbreak of war and limiting war’s brutality. Yet experts debate whether arms control can meet these goals in practice. This chapter traces the modern development of arms control, covering its nineteenth-century foundations, the League of Nations, nuclear weapons in the Cold War, and recent “humanitarian” arms control initiatives. Yet the chapter also observes that new weapons and new actors challenge the foundations of existing regimes and raise questions about the form and functioning of future agreements. Even as arms control evolves, understanding it continues to depend on understanding the complex interplay between material and normative pressures states face in domestic and international politics. As concerns about weapons proliferation persist and the domains of conflict expand, arms control will remain a central issue on the international agenda.
Types of Cookies we use
This site employs two first-party cookies (served from us and by us that are essential for the site to operate) and two third-party cookies that deliver external services.
We use a server-generated session cookie to remember you when you are logged in to the site. This is essential to making sure that your profile details are those that are updated when you log in to make changes. This also lets us know who is logging into the site and when.
This site also uses a cookie that is created by your browser to remember when you agree to the cookie notice popup. This cookie stores nothing but the word "true" if you have agreed to the terms and is deleted when you close your browser. This cookie's only function is to prevent the cookie notice from popping up every time you refresh the site's homepage.
How to Disable Cookies Altogether
Information on how to disable cookies in your browser can be found here. Please keep in mind that disabling cookies will prevent the essential functions of most interactive websites and web applications, this site included.
This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for (womenalsoknowstuff.com). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:
Information Collection, Use, and Sharing
If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, or need to contact us, we can be reached at .
Terms and Conditions
Last updated: August 04, 2019
Please read these Terms and Conditions ("Terms", "Terms and Conditions") carefully before using the http://womenalsoknowstuff.com website (the "Service") operated by Women Also Know Stuff ("us", "we", or "our"). Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned upon your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. These Terms apply to all visitors, users and others who wish to access or use the Service. By accessing or using the Service you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you disagree with any part of the terms then you do not have permission to access the Service.
Our Service allows you to post, link, store, share and otherwise make available certain information, text, graphics, videos, or other material ("Content"). You are responsible for the Content that you post on or through the Service, including its legality, reliability, and appropriateness. By posting Content on or through the Service, You represent and warrant that: (i) the Content is yours (you own it) and/or you have the right to use it and the right to grant us the rights and license as provided in these Terms, and (ii) that the posting of your Content on or through the Service does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights or any other rights of any person or entity. We reserve the right to terminate the account of anyone found to be infringing on a copyright. You retain any and all of your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Service and you are responsible for protecting those rights. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for Content you or any third party posts on or through the Service. However, by posting Content using the Service you grant us the right and license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content on and through the Service. You agree that this license includes the right for us to make your Content available to other users of the Service, who may also use your Content subject to these Terms. Women Also Know Stuff has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit all Content provided by users. In addition, Content found on or through this Service are the property of Women Also Know Stuff or used with permission. You may not distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, download, repost, copy, or use said Content, whether in whole or in part, for commercial purposes or for personal gain, without express advance written permission from us.
When you create an account with us, you guarantee that you are above the age of 18, are a woman in the academic field of Political Science, and that the information you provide us is accurate, complete, and current at all times. Inaccurate, incomplete, or obsolete information may result in the immediate termination of your account on the Service. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password, including but not limited to the restriction of access to your computer and/or account. You agree to accept responsibility for any and all activities or actions that occur under your account and/or password, whether your password is with our Service or a third-party service. You must notify us immediately upon becoming aware of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your account.
The Service and its original content (excluding Content provided by users), features and functionality are and will remain the exclusive property of Women Also Know Stuff and its licensors. The Service is protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the United States and foreign countries. Our trademarks and trade dress may not be used in connection with any product or service without the prior written consent of Women Also Know Stuff. Links To Other Web Sites Our Service may contain links to third party web sites or services that are not owned or controlled by Women Also Know Stuff Women Also Know Stuff has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party web sites or services. We do not warrant the offerings of any of these entities/individuals or their websites. You acknowledge and agree that Women Also Know Stuff shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such third party web sites or services. We strongly advise you to read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third party web sites or services that you visit.
We may terminate or suspend your account and bar access to the Service immediately, without prior notice or liability, under our sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever and without limitation, including but not limited to a breach of the Terms. If you wish to terminate your account, you may simply discontinue using the Service, or notify us that you wish to delete your account. All provisions of the Terms which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.
You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Women Also Know Stuff and its licensee and licensors, and their employees, contractors, agents, officers and directors, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees), resulting from or arising out of a) your use and access of the Service, by you or any person using your account and password; b) a breach of these Terms, or c) Content posted on the Service.
Limitation Of Liability
In no event shall Women Also Know Stuff, nor its directors, employees, partners, agents, suppliers, or affiliates, be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages, including without limitation, loss of profits, data, use, goodwill, or other intangible losses, resulting from (i) your access to or use of or inability to access or use the Service; (ii) any conduct or content of any third party on the Service; (iii) any content obtained from the Service; and (iv) unauthorized access, use or alteration of your transmissions or content, whether based on warranty, contract, tort (including negligence) or any other legal theory, whether or not we have been informed of the possibility of such damage, and even if a remedy set forth herein is found to have failed of its essential purpose.
Your use of the Service is at your sole risk. The Service is provided on an "AS IS" and "AS AVAILABLE" basis. The Service is provided without warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement or course of performance. Women Also Know Stuff, its subsidiaries, affiliates, and its licensors do not warrant that a) the Service will function uninterrupted, secure or available at any particular time or location; b) any errors or defects will be corrected; c) the Service is free of viruses or other harmful components; or d) the results of using the Service will meet your requirements.
Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties or the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, so the limitations above may not apply to you.
These Terms shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Arizona and the United States, without regard to its conflict of law provisions. Our failure to enforce any right or provision of these Terms will not be considered a waiver of those rights. If any provision of these Terms is held to be invalid or unenforceable by a court, the remaining provisions of these Terms will remain in effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us regarding our Service, and supersede and replace any prior agreements we might have had between us regarding the Service.
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material we will provide at least 30 days notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion. By continuing to access or use our Service after any revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised terms. If you do not agree to the new terms, you are no longer authorized to use the Service.
If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us at .