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


280 pages.
from $32.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804793230
Paperback ISBN: 9780804799775
Ebook ISBN: 9780804799843

Request Review/Desk/Examination Copy


Excerpts and More

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

"Overall, the book is very interesting to read, from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. It raises a number of provocative ideas, particularly in regard to the notion of the dynamics of norms and how actors in the international system might move from one norm to another. The author should also be commended for organization and clarity. For a book on technological innovation, it is not overly jargon-laden...The book, therefore, is appropriate for and will interest both students and scholars who are interested in norms, international security, technology, and the role of hegemonic, if not great power, states. Such readers are likely to find much to reflect on by the conclusion of the book."

—John Sislin, H-War

"[T]his is a theoretically rigorous and stimulating book, which will interest scholars of constructivism, international norm regimes and American foreign policy."

—Emil Archambault, Political Studies Review