Emerging technologies and the arms trade

Andrew T. H. Tan, Michael T. Klare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The technological imperative, as an independent variable, remains a compelling dynamic that is shaping decisions on budgets and procurement priorities, at least amongst the biggest defence spenders. The emergence of advanced technologies with significant military applications has serious implications for the arms trade. As the major powers rush to weaponize these technologies, other countries—though lacking the capacity to duplicate the major powers’ capabilities in all respects—will seek to purchase fully-equipped weapons incorporating the new capabilities from their great-power allies (typically settling for models lacking certain high-end components) and/or to develop a domestic capacity to manufacture such weapons themselves. Some, moreover, will seek to become exporters of technology-enhanced weaponry themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on the Arms Trade
EditorsAndrew T. H. Tan
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781789900996
ISBN (Print)9781789900989
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 2020


  • military technology
  • emerging technologies
  • dual use technology
  • arms trade
  • revolution in military affairs
  • network-centric warfare


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