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Thurner, Paul W.; Schmid, Christian S.; Cranmer, Skyler J.; Kauermann, Göran (29. October 2018): Network Interdependencies and the Evolution of the International Arms Trade. In: Journal of Conflict Resolution
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Abstract

Since few states are able to produce all of their own military hardware, a majority of countries’ military systems rely on weapon imports. The structure of the international defense technology exchange network remains an important puzzle to understand, along with the factors that drive its evolution. Drawing on a political economy model of arms supply, we propose a new network-oriented explanation for the worldwide transactions of major conventional weapons in the period after World War II. Using temporal exponential random graph models, our dynamic approach illustrates how network dependencies and the relative weighting of economic versus security considerations vary over time. One of our major results is to demonstrate how security considerations started regaining importance over economic ones after 2001. Additionally, our model exhibits strong out-of-sample predictive performance, with network dependencies contributing to model improvement especially after the Cold War.