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DHP P212M: Political Economy of the Global Arms Trade

Course Description

The arms industry and trade sits at the intersection of global economics, security, and politics. Access to armaments, whether domestically produced or imported, is necessary for states and armed groups to develop military capability; thus the arms industry and trade is a key instrument of state policy and international relations. At the same time, the arms industry is an economic enterprise, in most countries a private, profit-seeking one. It depends on general national economic, industrial and technological development, and is often seen — debatably — as an important source of industrialization, jobs, and trade. But military spending, including arms acquisition, carries an opportunity cost, and how states choose to allocate limited resources between civilian and military priorities is the outcome of numerous economic, political and security factors.

Course duration: First half
Credits/Units: 1.5