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A fresh examination of the ethical and intellectual issues and dilemmas associated with attempts to establish formal humanitarian limits on weaponry. This new study considers how governments, non-governmental organizations, academics, political commentators and others have responded to the predicaments associated with imposing classifications about the relative acceptability of force and what is accomplished in their strategies for doing so. It develops these issues through combining thematic and conceptual analysis with the examination of varied cases of prohibitions on 'conventional' and 'unconventional' weapons through customary and statutory laws, multilateral treaties, UN resolutions, and national legislation. The book will appeal to students of security studies, military technology, peace studies, international relations and discourse theory.