Why No Fuss about Mines and UXO after the Vietnam War?

Earlier this year I presented at a conference on peace movements during and after the Cold War.  I tried to understand why it was that efforts to mitigate and raise awareness of the impact of mines and cluster munitions after the Vietnam War (particularly by the Mennonites and Quakers) were not as successful as after the Cold War.

The paper argued that a shift in power 1989 allowed ‘norm entrepreneurs’ such as NGOs, religious institutions, and the Scandinavian states, previously at the peripheries of the global system, a newfound voice and authority. During the Cold War, the US and USSR had jealously guarded all military and security issues as matters of the state.  By contrast the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition  managed to shift the framing of the issue from being a security threat to the state, to a threat to the human person.

I’d be interested in hearing from people who were involved in the early attempts to control, clear and mitigate mines and UXO in the 1960s and 1970s (or even before) — please leave a comment.

The whole paper is available here. A short summary of the paper, with a bit of editorializing, was published in Landmine Action Campaign.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 29 July 2008.

2 Responses to “Why No Fuss about Mines and UXO after the Vietnam War?”

  1. […] seeking regulations on cluster bombs, dating back to the Vietnam War.  For historical perspective, click here. Nonetheless, the rapid rise to prominance of the Cluster Munition Coalition owes its success to […]

  2. […] of Laos occured, either click here go to the Mennonite Central Committee’s website or read my paper on the history of efforts to ban and mitigate the impact of mines and cluster munition… since the Indochinese […]

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