This chapter looks at how anti-arms trade activists develop critiques of the international arms trade. It argues that the overwhelming focus on the sale of arms to ‘repressive regimes’ risks reproducing liberal militarism and racialised discourses of the international, showing how apparently radical anti-militarism can become folded within and circumscribed by militarist discourse. The chapter begins by outlining existing critiques of the Arms Trade Treaty, before suggesting that such critiques might also be directed towards more radical actors like Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). It then sets out how abolitionist actors like CAAT mobilise the ‘repressive regimes discourse’ to critique the arms trade, using this discourse to ground campaigns including ongoing efforts to ‘Stop Arming Saudi’. The chapter shows how, notwithstanding the importance of such campaigns, such discourses can remain troublingly compatible with liberal militarism, and can feed into racialised discourses which are themselves constitutive of militarism. The chapter ends by considering the potential for a more explicit focus on liberal and racialised forms of militarism within the movement.
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