Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ISS Paper 258: Biological Weapons Convention: Confidence, the prohibition and learning from the past

Confidence in the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) needs to be strengthened. When thinking about how to do this, hard questions must be asked about why confidence building measures aren't working and what else is needed to establish and maintain confidence between states parties. This paper reflects on how those involved in the BWC process collectively assess issues affecting the convention. It focuses on the prevalence of defensive reasoning, which inhibits robust enquiry and encourages anti-learning practices. It argues that instead of more of the same, alternative types of discussions needed to be nurtured.

Authors: Brian Rappert and Chandre Gould

Click here to download Paper No 258

The authors are grateful for a research grant award from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA

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