The research project investigates the spread of ideas and norms embedded in micro-disarmament
processes in post-conflict peacebuilding environments. Micro-disarmament, as I define it in this
dissertation, refers to activities aimed at controlling the use and proliferation of Small Arms and
Light Weapons (SALW) in post-conflict situations.
But micro-disarmament is not only about collecting weapons from conflict protagonists; it is also
about local people accepting the state's monopoly on violence. This is a fundamental norm in the
international system, and in order to understand how it underpins micro-disarmament initiatives it is
necessary to analyse the ideational process whereby this norm is exported through contemporary
This r esearch looks at the way local actors have mobilized for or against micro-disarmament norms
as exported through both coercive (rational) and persuasive (sociologically induced) mechanisms.
Through two case studies of the, on the one hand, failed micro-dis armament programme in Kosovo
and, on the other, the reportedly successful one in Cambodia, the project considers ways in
which local agency engages in norm localization as a response to norm-teaching by international
organizations. The main focus is how t he construct of identity has played a role in facilitating
or rejecting disarmament. Norm congruence, or localization, I argue, is key to the successful
diffusion of international norms in local contexts, and understanding how identity and culture
become politicized in this process is crucial to providing a better comprehension of the dynamics,
challenges and long-term effects of externally promoted norms.