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Lucas Hellemeier

PhD Candidate

Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin

Defense Industrial Globalization and U.S. Hegemony (dissertation project)

Dissertation in Political Science

Mentoring team:
First supervisor: Prof. Lora Viola
Second supervisor: N/A
Third supervisor: N/A

Modern weapon systems' production chains are often transnationally diversified. This means, that components are produced over a wide range of countries and companies. This is also called defense-industrial globalization and it is disputed whether this serves the systems integrators such as the United States in asserting its hegemonic strategy or if the systems integrators’ dependence on smaller states’ defense industry results in a beneficial position of the latter. Analysts and commentators agree that defense-industrial globalization has created interdependencies since it emerged in the late 1980s. The defense-industrial order of the Cold War that resembled a pyramid has given way to a hub-and-spoke system. Linking this phenomenon to U.S. hegemony my main research question is the following: How does defense-industrial globalization affect U.S. hegemony? Put in other words, I scrutinize who benefits from defense globalization, and why (and how) that is the case. I use network analysis tools to scrutinize the political consequences of this post-Cold War defense-industrial oder. This factor-centric research project is situated between the fields of security studies and international political economy (IPE). It draws on recent works that point out the security consequences of global (economic) networks (Goddard 2018; Farrell/Newman 2019), a new generation of hegemony studies that seeks to unearth the power dynamics of hegemonic orders (Norrlof 2014; Goddard/Nexon 2016; Ikenberry/Nexon 2019; Norrlof/Wohlforth 2019) and hegemonic ordering (Nexon/Neumann 2018), and, most importantly, theoretical work linking analysis of structural power to complex network analysis (Winecoff 2020).

Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft