From the Author
In the fall of 2008, I was studying for a Masters' in Public Policy at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. I was taking a class at the law school on international cooperation, and having just completed six months as an intern at Human Rights Watch, I decided to write about the Oslo Process and the campaign to ban cluster munitions for my final paper, coincidentally presenting my work the day before the historic signing of the treaty at Oslo on December 3, 2008. The following year, I chose to expand this initial paper for my Master's thesis. My thesis attempted to explore the reasons behind the success of this accomplishment from the perspective of international relations. This book is based on that work, although it has been completely re-written (for the second time, for this revised and expanded edition), with additional research supplementing each section, as well as updated content to include the progress made since the adoption of the Convention.
Hence, in one way or another, I have been researching the topic of cluster munitions for over eight years, and still find myself endlessly fascinated by it. What keeps drawing me to this subject, and why I find this topic awe-inspiring is that at its very core, the story of how cluster munitions were banned is a story of the triumph of the underdog, the fight between David and Goliath. On one hand, a deadly but essential weapon used for the past half-century by the most powerful militaries in the world was pitted against a ragtag motley group of experienced as well as inexpert NGOs and victims' groups teamed up with a handful of committed-to-the-cause states, alongside behind-the-scenes support from advisory international organizations.
As of this writing, the Convention on Cluster Munitions has since been adopted by a total of 119 countries. The outcome of the Oslo Process was a ray of hope among the usual cynicism and disenchantment of similar international processes. As the United Kingdom's Secretary Of State For Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs, the Hon. David Miliband stated: "in less than two years...over one hundred countries have come together to conceive, plan, negotiate, agree, and now sign the most significant disarmament treaty of recent years".