The need for protection of humanitarian values to be incorporated into arms trade regulations is increasingly being framed in a human rights language in the arguments of activist groups, international agreements and governments. In Norway, there has been mounting pressure from NGOs to incorporate human rights concerns in domestic regulations. This thesis explores the evolution of the role of human rights in arms trade regulations in Norway based on an adaptation of the spiral model introduced by Thomas Risse et.al. in The Power of Human Rights. Through this theoretical approach I address the impact of NGO activity and international peer pressure on the role of human rights in Norwegian arms export regulations.
The thesis addresses key developments of international law and its interpretation which provides a foundation for the incorporation of human rights norms in the field of arms export regulations. This is foundation is utilised to achieve a coherent picture of the evolution of the role of human rights norms in arms export regulations in general. The Norwegian situation is subsequently analysed in light of how these international developments influence both the domestic NGO community and the behaviour of the relevant state organs, utilising the framework of the adapted spiral model.