Een Schoon Geweten, oder Bahn Frei für Waffenschmieden:
In today’s modern world, due to continually evolving technologies, images from across the globe are cast into our lives making everything seem so much closer. To cope, we often choose to turn away from processes we deem to have no control over, largely trusting our governments to do the responsible thing. One such seemingly inescapable evil is war, with the transfer of arms to conflict regions exacerbating violence and enabling strongmen by means of force. However, in recent decades, efforts have been made by states to regulate global arms transfers to mitigate its worst effects. The Netherlands and in prolongation the EU, prides itself in committing to the most responsible humanitarian standards when assessing arms exports. Yet, EU-member states continue to transfer arms to conflict regions, contrary to its own legally binding Common Position. Making us complicit in the actions of those strongmen, such as Saudi-Arabia, whose involvement in Yemen has led to a terrible humanitarian crisis. The puzzle at hand then is not a question of what is responsible, but rather how responsibility is practiced by states in the international system. “Een schoon geweten, oder Bahn Frei für Waffenschmieden” is my contribution to this scientific and humanitarian discourse. In addition, I thank those who have supported me in making it happen.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen