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Lucas Hellemeier

PhD Candidate

Lansstraße 5-9
14195 Berlin

Arms Exports, Defense Globalization, and U.S. Hegemonic Strategy (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. This is also called defense 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. Furthermore, arms transfers by the U.S. to smaller states can be used by the former as a foreign policy tool to influence the smaller states' behavior in order to contribute to U.S. hegemonic strategy. I scrutinize two aspects related to the United States’ hegemonic strategy. First, U.S. arms transfers and, second, the globalization of defense production of weapon systems for which U.S. companies remain the systems integrators. Hence, two research questions emerge: (1) How does the U.S. use arms transfers to pursue its hegemonic strategy? (2) How does the U.S. use the globalization of defense production to pursue its hegemonic strategy? This project builds on previous research by Sislin (1994). I do, however, enlarge the perspective by including the aspect of defense production globalization. I am thus, linking the geopolitics of arms trade to the economics of arms trade since both are “crucial for understanding arms transfers” (Anderton 2007: 527).

Dahlem Research School
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft