Join the Arms Trade Research Lab

Want to know more about the arms industry and arms trade and how to do research yourself? Join the Arms Trade Research Lab, a series of interactive workshops by Stop Wapenhandel.

The attack on Gaza has put the spotlight on the international arms trade, responsible for providing Israel with the tools for war and genocide. It also shows that the military-industrial complex is indeed complex: it is not just about arms exports, such as of F35 parts, but also about cooperation with the Israeli arms industry and ties with universities.

Israel is far from the only country where western arms contribute to war, repression and human rights violations. Behind this lies a web of policies, budgets and instruments to facilitate arms exports and support the military and security industry. Increasing military budgets and a wave of militarisation in EU/NATO countries spur the industry’s profits, push for more arms exports and lead to growing GHG emissions.

The real goals of these policies – maintaining and expanding western military and economic power on a global scale and guaranteeing access to fossil fuels and raw materials – are covered up by sloganeering about hyped-up threats and national or European security. Arms companies increasingly present themselves, supported by authorities and media, as the ‘good guys’, the only ones able to protect us and even as sustainable investment options.

In the past years we at Stop Wapenhandel have been in contact with many people who are critical of the arms industry – from activists fighting against their universities’ ties with Israel to people who are worried about escalation policies and pleas for war economies to people who witness the devastating consequences of western militarism and arms trade in the Global South.

Arms trade seems to be a world of secrecy, but if you know your way much information can be found to support and strengthen your struggle. With the Arms Trade Research Lab, a series of four interactive workshops, we will transfer knowledge about the arms industry, and underlying policies, and, most importantly, skills on how to do research yourself to dedicated young activists.

In the workshops we will discuss:

  • rules and regulations regarding arms trade, and how these are interpretated (and thus still allow many problematic exports)
  • an overview of Dutch and EU arms exports. Where are weapons going to and what are some of the most controversial destinations?
  • the Dutch arms industry. What are the main companies, what do they produce? What is their relation to the industry in other countries?
  • the arms industry lobby in The Netherlands and in the EU, and its results
  • the (economical, foreign and military) policies behind arms trade
  • how arms trade relates to other issues, such as climate change, migration and colonialism

And on a practical level:

  • where to find info on arms exports and arms companies
  • how to research ties between universities and arms companies
  • how to assess sources, and to avoid disinformation and conspiracy thinking
  • about political processes and how to use info for actions and campaigning

As part of the Arms Trade Research Lab you will produce your own article, presentation, podcast or other deliverable about a specific subject of your interest. In general there will be room to adapt the workshops to focus on subjects that the participants are most interested in.

The Arms Trade Research Lab will take place on a central location in The Netherlands on four weekday evenings in September/October (dates tbd). Participation is free of charge. Working language is English, but several (official) sources are only available in Dutch.

Interested in participating? Fill in this form.*

Please note: the maximum number of participants has been reached. You can still fill in the form and we’ll put you on the reserve list for this series and on the list for a next Arms Trade Research Lab (probably spring 2025)

The Arms Trade Research Lab is financially supported by the Haella Foundation and Alert Fund for Youth

* you can also send your answers to the questions below to us by mail ( or Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp (+31 610328106)

  • Name (can be a pseudonym):
  • Place of residence:
  • Email and/or phonenumber:
  • Affiliation (group, organisation you are active with; optional):
  • Please give a short intro about why you want to participate in the Arms Trade Research Lab and what you hope to achieve.
  • Are there any subjects regarding arms trade and the arms industry that have your specific interest (ie exports to a specific country, connection to climate change, the arms industry lobby, …) ?
  • Are there any weekday evenings that in general won’t work for you to have the workshops?
  • Do you have any accessibility needs?
  • Anything else we need to know?

Steun Stop Wapenhandel