Cover of Arms and Influence by Jeffrey S. Lantis
Arms and Influence
U.S. Technology Innovations and the Evolution of International Security Norms
Jeffrey S. Lantis


July 2016
280 pages.
from $29.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804793230
Paper ISBN: 9780804799775

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Arms and Influence explores the complex relationship between technology, policymaking, and international norms. Modern technological innovations such as the atomic bomb, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and advanced reconnaissance satellites have fostered debates about the boundaries of international norms and legitimate standards of behavior. These advances allow governments new opportunities for action around the world and have, in turn, prompted a broader effort to redefine international standards in areas such as self-defense, sovereignty, and preemptive strikes.

In this book, Jeffrey S. Lantis develops a new theory of norm change and identifies its stages, including redefinition (involving domestic political deliberations) and constructive norm substitution (in multilateral institutions). He deftly takes some of the most controversial new developments in military technologies and embeds them in international relations theory. The case evidence he presents suggests that periods of change are underway across numerous different issue areas.

About the author

Jeffrey S. Lantis is Professor of Political Science at The College of Wooster.

"In Arms and Influence, Lantis offers a novel approach to understanding norm change that is rooted in technological innovation. This book is a solid contribution to literature on international security, and will spur new research and debate into the interrelationship of technological and normative change."

—James W. Davis, University of St. Gallen

"Through rigorous case study analysis, Jeffrey Lantis demonstrates the manner in which technological advances spur U.S. elites to review, modify, or replace international norms of appropriate behavior in the security realm. An important contribution to the critical constructivist understanding of normative change—and stasis."

—Shirley Scott, UNSW Australia