13 June 2022 Mark Bromley successfully defended his dissertation "Understanding European Arms Export Controls: Material Interests and Competing Norms" at the department of Economic History and International Relations. 

Opponent: Professor Michael Broszka, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg.

Members of the examining committee: Professor Urika Mörth (Stockholms universitet), Docent Malena Britz, prorektor (Försvarshögskolan), Professor Johan Eriksson (Södertörns högskola).

Principal supervisor: Professor Thomas Jonter, (Stockholms universitet).

Second Supervisor:  Professor Neil Cooper (Kent State University).



Abstract: This thesis seeks to better understand the formation and implementation of the restrictions that the EU and EU member states have imposed on exports of military and security equipment. Specifically, the thesis develops two norms-based theoretical frameworks for understanding how and why particular restrictions become integrated in states’ national and collective export controls, why others are rejected, and the different ways this integration occurs. To develop these frameworks this thesis carries out two case studies comparing aspects of Sweden’s, the UK’s and the USA’s arms export controls and examining the emergence of the EU’s export control ‘regime’, conducts a review of past research on export controls, produces a historical narrative summarizing the evolution of states’ restrictions on exports of military and security equipment, and draws from key aspects of the literature on norms in the fields of international relations and organizational theory. The first theoretical framework posits that the process of adopting particular restrictions on exports of military and security equipment can be best understood as a competition between different constitutive and regulative norms. Applying this ‘competing norms’ framework creates a better understanding of why certain efforts to impose restrictions fail while others succeed. The second theoretical framework is informed by the concept of organized hypocrisy and helps explain the outcomes that can emerge when different norms support and oppose the adoption of particular restrictions. Applying this ‘organized hypocrisy’ framework shows how export controls can be viewed as consisting of ‘talk’, ‘decision’ and ‘action’ and that each aspect can be adjusted in response to the pressures exerted by different norms. The thesis applies these theoretical frameworks in two case studies that explore recent processes of revising aspects of Sweden’s arms export controls and the EU’s export control regime. This thesis makes several novel contributions to the study of the trade in military and security equipment, export controls and arms control more broadly. Most substantively, it provides two new theoretical frameworks for understanding the role that norms play when states individually and collectively impose restrictions on their exports of military and security equipment. More broadly, the insights provided help to shed light on the norms dynamics at play in other areas of arms control, security policy and international relations more generally.

Link to thesis