If arms exports often rely on production processes and transportation networks spanning multiple countries, then their regulation has historically taken place at the level of the state. In this episode of the Transformative Podcast, Ned Richardson-Little (University of Erfurt) discusses this paradox and its effects on different groups involved in the arms trade with Rosamund Johnston (RECET). He also reflects on why it makes little sense to view the officially-sanctioned and “illicit” arms trades through separate lenses, and on how historians might take morality into account when writing about global arms sales.
Ned Richardson-Little is a Freigeist Fellow at the University of Erfurt. He leads a team investigating “The Other Global Germany: Deviant Globalization and Transnational Criminality in the 20th Century,” in which he is researching the export and regulation of arms and narcotics. Richardson-Little has a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the author of The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge University Press 2020).