For many, the arms trade and its dealers are the root cause of regional wars and global terrorism. In both public and academic debates, arms dealers are considered immoral as they profit from conflict, due to their key position in the international arms trading business. Nevertheless, there seems to be little to no interest in the personal lives of those actively involved. In his criminological biography of a licensed arms dealer, Yarin Eski provides an in-depth, interdisciplinary approach to and understanding of the global arms trade, revealing a deep insider view placed in a wider sociocultural context.
From early discussions about childhood and career choices, to reflections on becoming and being an arms trader, Eski offers a methodologically embedded approach and advances biographical writing in the field of Criminology. It is a unique and thought-provoking contribution to the fields of criminology, ethnography, sociology, critical security studies, policing studies, war studies and international politics and offers an unparalleled insight from within.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Abbreviations ‘My life is a ****ed up book!’: An Introduction 1. Arms dealers imagined: Toward a criminological imagination of an arms dealer 2. Talking arms: A methodological reflection on biography 3. A troubled childhood: His parents, siblings and lack of friends 4. A coming of age and rage: Adolescence and early career 5. From arms to amenities His motivation, companies and offer 6. Trust and distrust Clients, competition and colleagues 7. The rules of the game and the game of the rules: Laws, politics, public opinion and personal morality 8. Wedlock, stock and barrel: Partners, children and stepping down 9. All is fair in love and war: A criminological imagination of the arms dealer Constantine Epilogue: A bittersweet criminological aftertaste Index
Yarin Eski is an assistant professor in Public Administration at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam.
Importantly this book is not just a biography, it is a criminological biography. It fits well within the significant presence of biographical work in the discipline. In so doing this book offers a deeply theorised, reflective and personal account of the lives of both biographer and biographee. It falls into the category of required reading for anyone claiming the label of criminologist.
Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, University of Liverpool conjoint Chair of Criminology, Monash University, Melbourne
What do we really know about arms dealers? A seemingly self-evident demonisation of an occupation that has a crucial role to play in wars goes hand in hand with a complete lack of understanding of people that actually deal in arms. Within the social sciences N=1 studies are frowned upon and biography is a scarcely applied method. Is there a better way though to retrieve an insight into the all too human life of someone who does his daily work in the often hidden world of arms dealing? These are also people of flesh and blood, with their subjective reasoning, doubts and beliefs. Yarin Eski gets to know the arms dealer Constantine, builds up a strong rapport and fires away questions during a long series of interviews with him. A unique book!
Frank van Gemert, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam