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Published December 6, 2022

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations. 3

Introduction. 4

The ACRS oral history project: genesis and objectives. 4

Methodology and limitations. 4

The ACRS oral history: outline of the analytical report. 6

Contributions to the existing literature on ACRS and new findings. 7

The inception of ACRS. 7

International and regional conditions. 8

The Bush initiative. 9

“Who is in and who is out”. 10

The multilateral track and its relationship to the bilaterals. 11

The conception of the ACRS Working Group. 14

Participating states’ objectives within ACRS. 15

Internal preparations. 18

The format of ACRS. 22

Co-chairs. 23

Steering Group. 24

Informal and voluntary process. 24

A process of decision-making by consensus. 25

Conceptual and operational baskets. 25

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. 26

A seminar-type and educational format. 27

Emerging fault lines and inflection points. 28

The relationship between arms control and regional security over time. 29

The relationship between the bilaterals and multilaterals over time. 30

Important episodes and inflection points. 31

The relevance of specific individuals and personal relations in ACRS. 39

Successes and failures of the process and lessons learnt. 41

Reflections on achievements and successes in ACRS. 42

Reflections on problems and failures in ACRS. 44

Lessons learnt. 51

Annex: ACRS delegates interviewed for the ACRS oral history project. 58


History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more