The dynamics of small arms transfers in Southeast Asian insurgencies
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis is an attempt to fill the theoretical and empirical gap that exists in current small arms literature, which has failed to examine and identify the different aspects that are involved with small arms transfers in Southeast insurgencies. Small arms not only play a significant role in all internal conflicts throughout the world, but they are of particular concern right through Asia, where civil wars have tended to last longer than those in any other region. This study uses a comprehensive dataset that defines active armed conflict in Southeast Asia during 2002. This has allowed for the detailed analysis of three countries within Southeast Asia, where government forces have been involved in active armed conflict with insurgent groups. Important aspects of this thesis include; the analysis of external and internal sources insurgent groups are able to secure both financially and militarily; the most important sources of supply for insurgent groups obtaining small arms; and how the supply, use and accumulation of these small arms by insurgent groups have affected internal conflict. This study suggests that internal sources, rather than external sources, are more important for insurgent groups in securing forms of finances and weaponry. The most important sources of supply for obtaining small arms would also tend to come from internal sources. Furthermore, it is likely that variables of intra-state conflicts, such as duration and intensity, have been highly affected by small arms usage. This thesis concludes by suggesting that the study of how insurgent groups obtain different forms of finances and resources is equally as important as the analysis of how insurgent groups obtain small arms.