Defence Technology as Security Policy. Defence R&T as a Security Policy Tool in Europe, France and the United Kingdom


  • Clevström Jenny
  • Winnerstig Mike

Publish date: 2003-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--0813--SE

Pages: 135

Written in: English


Defence R&T is often a decisive factor in the formation of state security policy as well as for certain international-political outcomes. The aim of this report is to study some of the most advanced defence R&T systems, i.e. the French and British national systems as well as a number of multilateral projects, from both a technology policy and a security policy perspective. Conclusions are drawn from four main areas of analysis. The first area considers whether interdependence or more egotist national interests dominate the buildup of national and multilateral defence R&T. The results indicate that, despite the fact that interdependence rhetoric is common, national interests clearly dominate the field. The other area concerns what kind of actors - pluralist of state-centric - govern the planning of defence R&T. Here, at the multilateral level, state actors are clearly dominant, whereas at the national level some never, more pluralist actors have emerged. An example of the latter is QinetQ a recently privatized British defence research company. The third area concerns common values vs. material power as explanations for the development of defence R&T. The report concludes that common values seem to function as facilitating rather than necessary conditions. The issue of material power, in turn, are necessary but sufficient conditions for the development of international collaboration on defence R&T. The last area considers globalization vs. geopolitics. Several European multilateral defence R&T projects can be regarded as geopolitical balancing moves against the USA. French rhetoric underlines this, whereas the British position, albeit somewhat split, will retain an Atlanticist orientation. The latter is reinforced by the process of globalization, a development to which the British defence R&T system is well suited.

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