Conclusions and Policy Implications
As set out in the Final Report to the European Commission, January 2001


4.1.1 This section draws together our conclusions concerning what our analysis of national systems of innovation in the defence sector reveals about the ways in which technological and industrial change, within a framework of globalisation, may be altering the arms economy. It identifies areas requiring further research. And it explores how the developments which have been examined in this project may lead companies and governments towards certain possible future scenarios.

4.1.2 These scenarios focus upon:

  • tranatlantic discord in the form of strong, but competing, US and European poles in the defence sector

  • transatlantic harmony, with distinct European and US pillars, but operating within some framework of general understanding and cooperation and

  • transatlantic discord via 'divide and rule', in which US companies 'pick off' individual European firms in partnership arrangements, leaving other firms, and governments, with a strong sense of vulnerability to decisions made on the other side of the Atlantic.

These scenarios are offered as 'possible futures', not as predictions. They allow for the possibility that developments at the industrial level, within production networks, may not be synchronised with developments at the political, and especially intergovernmental, level.

4.1.3 What overall conclusions emerge from our discussion, and especially from our application of the national systems of innovation approach to the field of defence industrial and technology policy? We introduce them under the three headings of their relations to trends within the general political economy, developments more specifically within defence industries and technology, and the value of, and our contribution to, the national systems of innovation analytical approach.

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