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The bans on chemical and biological weapons (CBW) are central elements of the international disarmament and security architecture. The Chemical Weapons Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) form the core of the international prohibition regimes. These and other multilateral instruments lay down rules of conduct (norms) to ensure the comprehensive prohibition of CBW and make such norms meaningful through domestic law and professional codes of conduct.​Recent developments have called into question the resilience of these norms. Chemical weapons have been used in Syria as a tool of warfare and in Europe as a tool of assassination. The conflict in Ukraine has also been the source of allegations of violations or possible future violations of the regimes against biological and chemical weapons. At the same time the institutional regimes in arms control are being contested, which is also reflected in the context of chemical and biological weapons.​The question is now how can states, concerned international actors and civil society overcome the current issues and prepare the regimes for the future? What can be done to ensure the strength of the taboos against chemical and biological weapons? To do so, it is necessary to understand the relevant normative regimes for Chemical and Biological weapons and especially how different norms and levels of norms interact with one another.​To examine the normative regimes against chemical and biological weapons, the conference will focus on two main sections.

Multinormativity of the chemical and biological weapons regimes

​The normative regimes against biological and chemical weapons consist of a wide variety of rules, with differing normative value. Both hard law as well as soft law have been shown to be influential in combating chemical and biological weapons. This section will therefore focus on the interaction between different types of norms and their potential to influence and shape each other.

Multi-level functionality of the regimes against chemical and biological weapons

The interplay between the different levels of regulation international, regional, national, to sub-state-level - of the biological and chemical weapons regimes has hardly been studied so far. However, there are apparent interactions between these different levels of regulation. Contributions in this section could look at the interplay between the different levels of regulation both from a ‘top-down’ approach as well as from a ‘bottom-up’ approach.

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