The changing face of European armaments co-operation : continuity and change in British, French and German armaments policy, 1990-2000
This thesis investigates the changing nature of Western European armaments collaboration between 1990 and 2000. Falling defence budgets, American defence restructuring, a decreasing world armaments market and moves towards a European Defence and Security Policy, have forced greater co-operation between Western European states on armaments policy. Although the European Union and Western European Union have responded to these changing circumstances, the most farreaching co-operation has been intergovernmental; in defence procurement, the establishment of OCCAR, and in defence industrial policy, the Framework Agreement. These developments show the emergence of a core group of countries in armaments matters; the most important of which are Britain, France and Germany. The thesis argues that, notwithstanding these institutional developments and the similar external and domestic pressures on West European states, national armaments policies continue to reflect distinctive national paths, and that these differences adversely affect the prospects of increased armaments coil aborati on. Synthesising new institutionalist and social constructivist approaches, the thesis examines policy continuity and change in Britain, France and Germany in this period by considering state-defence industry relations, state-military relations and the defence procurement bureaucracy. It scrutinises the policy changes made in the three countries in response to the pressures on the Western European armaments sector. It contends that national strategic culture, models of state-industry relations and the culture of defence procurement organisations continue to reflect historical patterns and domestic constraints, and thus are proving resistant to the changes in policy. The thesis concludes by assessing the prospects for greater European armaments collaboration.