I don’t want to give the impression that my time here in Norway is being spent skiing and watching the Olympics. That’s definately part of it, but I’m here on sabbatical for a reason: to write up my own evaluation of the Landmine Monitor, a project I’ve worked on since its inception. Here’s some info on what I’m trying to do. Your feedback and thoughts would be most appreciated…

Subject: Landmine Monitor is a monitoring initiative established by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in 1998 to monitor implementation and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the humanitarian response more generally to the global mine problem.

Thesis: To what degree has Landmine Monitor succeeded as a monitoring regime? (from the campaign’s perspective it has been incredibly effective, but proving this is another matter!) Does it really function as a type of verification system? (not in the strictest sense and this is the opportunity to speak about it in the broader academic/theoretical context)

Additional questions will be comparative:
1) How does it compare to formal regimes and verification agencies established to monitor chemical and nuclear weapons?
2) How does it compare with NGO monitoring involvement in treaties on the environment (biodiversity) and labour rights?
3) How can movements seeking to monitor other emerging treaties in areas such as disability rights and tobacco control effectively replicate Landmine Monitor or elements of it?

Like I said, your feedback is welcome. It’s been more than a decade since I completed university and I’m outta practice! The end product of this research will be a chapter in a book I am compiling together with my colleagues Steve and Jody, maybe a paper issued by Fafo, and, if I can get my act together to apply, I’d like to get in published in some academic journal. I’m trying to fill a hole in the knowledge of the academic and verification worlds as no-one really knows about this little initiative beyond those working on this issue…