The public face of international gun-running

In March this year, as in 2001, Lockheed Martin UK, a subsidiary of the world’s largest arms manufacturer, will be helping to run the census. Their specific role, contractually valued at £150 million, will be “delivering data capture and processing capability” for the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This seems innocent enough, but whilst the … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 5)

Social media and internet technology are to some degree changing the way people think and act. At the very least they have provided us with the means through which to counter the discourse of the police, government and mainstream media. More people are coming to realise, certainly, that this trinity of power and legitimacy do … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 1)

  I came in late to the packed-out SOAS meeting room on Thursday 27th January, where a debate had been scheduled between Laurie Penny, the anarcho-feminist and New Statesman columnist, and Ed Maltby of the Workers’ Liberty organisation. The tube had been awash with commuters, and the labyrinth of an unfamiliar institution had conspired against a … Continue reading

Discursive Ambiguity: A Critical Evaluation of the Discourse Surrounding the Arms Trade

Introduction The discourse surrounding the arms trade is an area that remains under-theorised. Perhaps this is because it relates more to concepts of legitimacy than to the study of security –which naturally tends to focus on more the arms industry’s security implications. Equally, despite its attempts to appear and be treated like any other commercial … Continue reading