Small Arms Survey

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The Small Arms Survey is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. It provides information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence, as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists, as well as research on small arms issues.

The Survey monitors national and international initiatives (governmental and non-governmental), and acts as a forum and clearinghouse for the sharing of information. It also disseminates best practice measures and initiatives dealing with small arms issues.

The Small Arms Survey mandate is to look at all aspects of small arms and armed violence. It provides research and analysis by which to support governments to reduce the incidence of armed violence and illicit trafficking through evidence-based analysis.

The project's staff includes international experts in security studies, political science, law, international public policy, development studies, economics, conflict resolution, and sociology. The staff works closely with a worldwide network of researchers and partners.[1][2][3]

Focus projects[edit]

The Small Arms Survey hosts the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat.[4] The Small Arms Survey's Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan project supports violence reduction initiatives, including disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programmes, incentive schemes for civilian arms collections and security sector reform, and arms control interventions across Sudan.[5] The Security Assessment in North Africa project supports efforts to build a more secure environment in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara region. The project produces evidence-based research and analysis on the availability and circulation of small arms, the dynamics of emerging armed groups, and related insecurity. The research stresses the effects of the recent uprisings and armed conflicts in the region on community safety.[6]


The data offered by the Small Arms Survey has several times been denounced as misleading or incorrect. The best known case is the estimation of the amount of firearms in Finland. The number was so high that virtually every Finnish family should have an illegal firearm at home (on top of all the legal ones) to be true. This number has since then kept popping up as the Small Arms Survey has not corrected it, despite even the Finnish ministry of interior making a statement that the numbers are completely wrong. [7][8]


The project's flagship publication is the Small Arms Survey, an annual review of global small arms issues such as production, stockpiles, brokering, legal and illicit arms transfers, the effects of small arms, and national, bilateral, and multilateral measures to deal with the problems associated with small arms.[9] Published by Cambridge University Press, it is recognized as the principal international source of impartial and reliable information on all aspects of small arms. It is widely used by policy-makers, government officials and non-governmental organizations.[10]

  • The Small Arms Survey 2007, titled Guns in the City, includes a section on civilian ownership of firearms, which provides a listing of the number of privately owned guns per 100 citizens by country.[11]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2009, titled Shadows of War.[12]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2010, titled Gangs, Groups, and Guns, examines armed violence in the context of gangs and other armed groups, and looks at some of the interventions that have been made to address the problem.[13]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2011, titled States of Security.[14]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2012, titled Moving Targets[15]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers[16]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns.[17]
  • The Small Arms Survey 2015, titled Weapons and the World.[18]

In addition to its annual yearbook, the Small Arms Survey publishes a wide range of periodical research findings. These include a Book Series, Occasional Papers, Special Reports, Working Papers, and short Issue Briefs and Research Notes.[18] These publications present substantial research findings on data, methodological, and conceptual issues related to small arms or detailed country and regional case studies. Most of these are published in hard copy and are also accessible on the project's web site.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home". Small Arms Survey. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Small Arms Survey | GPPlatform". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  3. ^ "The Graduate Institute – Geneva; Small Arms Survey". 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Diplomatic initiatives". 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  5. ^ "Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment – Empirical research & support of violence reduction initiatives". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  6. ^ "Home". Small Arms Survey. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  7. ^ "Oikaisu: Pääkirjoituksessa väärää tietoa aseiden määrästä". 29 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Miksi "luotettava media" valehtelee asemääristä? - Mikko Niskasaari". 
  9. ^ "Yearbook". Small Arms Survey. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  10. ^ "Small Arms Survey – Series – Academic and Professional Books – Cambridge University Press". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  11. ^ "The largest civilian firearms arsenals for 178 countries" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  12. ^ "The Graduate Institute, Geneva – Institutional News of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  13. ^ "2010". Small Arms Survey. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  14. ^ "Small Arms Survey 2011 – Academic and Professional Books – Cambridge University Press". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  15. ^ "Small Arms Survey 2012 – Academic and Professional Books – Cambridge University Press". Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  16. ^ "2013". Small Arms Survey. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  17. ^ "Small Arms Survey 2014". Small Arms Survey. 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "By type". Small Arms Survey. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 

External links[edit]