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Arms Trade in East Africa. A History of Globalisation, Regulation, and Colonial Rule, 1850-1919

Felix Brahm

This project studies the extensive firearms trade in the context of globalising East African trade relations and European colonialism. By looking into this subject from different perspectives, the study will demonstrate the vast potential of the arms trade for undermining and reshaping commercial, political and social relations on different scales.

A special focus of this study is laid upon the formation of global commodity chains, transregional entanglement and disentaglement, and intersections between technology, gender and race. The project futher explores both African and European attempts to control arms importation, and looks into commercial moralisation before the background of ‘civilising mission’ and imperial power politics. It finally studies practices of arms controlling and smuggling during early colonial rule and closes with the problem of demilitarisation at the end of the First World War and the international renegotiation of global arms trade regulation.