Author Biography

Sean P. Giovanello is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University. He studies and teaches about international security, with an emphasis on arms control and treaty ratification in the United States.



Subject Area Keywords

Chemical weapons, Diplomacy, Foreign policy, International law, National security, Weapons of mass destruction


This article examines the issue of riot control agents as it relates to the subject of chemical weapons arms control at the international level and, more specifically, implications for the United States. The article examines how the issue of riot control agents has complicated efforts for the United States to enter into and ratify chemical weapons-related arms control agreements. The article provides an overview of chemical weapons, examines the relevant arms control agreements, explores why and how riot control agents influence debates over the merits of these treaties, and explains why riot control agents remain a contentious issue in chemical weapons arms control and foreign policy in the United States.