These two hypotheses seem useful in framing the policy challenge of “when and where” explosive violence is acceptable:

Hypothesis 1:

Explosive weapons are widely recognised in practice as forming a distinct category and, whether explicitly or implicitly, they are subject to management as a category.

As well as providing evidence in support of Hypothesis 1, the broad international practice of not using explosive weapons for domestic policing activities can be extended into a second general hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2:

Where actors are accountable to the population amongst whom they are operating the use of explosive violence is not considered acceptable or appropriate.

Taken as fundamental points of reference, these two hypotheses frame a critical policy problem for the projection and management of force in the modern world: At what point does the use of explosive violence become acceptable and appropriate?

This question is particularly significant if we accept that explosive violence represents a humanitarian problem that is not being effectively managed under existing legal and policy frameworks, or effectively alleviated through those remedial measures that may be provided by the institutions of public health, humanitarian assistance. This is a further hypothesis though that requires further elaboration.

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