Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Reader/Committee Chair

Bichler, Gisela


The international community routinely implements embargoes in an effort to restrict the flow of small arms and light weapons into politically unstable regions. The effectiveness of sanctions fall into question when reports indicate that weapons continue to pour into embargoed territories. Using stochastic actor-based modeling, the current study investigates how shipment patterns change over time, and how trade patterns evolve in the presence of endogenous influences, such as embargoes, while controlling for corruption levels and national wealth (e.g., gross domestic product). The analysis here indicated that embargoes did have an effect in diverting illicit weapons trade through indirect ties. This was seen highest during the embargo implementation period and post embargo implementation period. The results stand to improve our understanding of this complex illegal global market and the role national control of corruption and gross domestic product play in the enforceability of these sanctions. In the final analysis what was discovered was that embargoes do effect change in the illegal arms trade network. This effect is seen in the form of indirect ties to end user countries. This suggests that improvements to policies and regulation on transshipment points need to be highly scrutinized.