Understanding the arms trade

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


After the end of the Cold War, the study of the arms trade fell into decline due to anticipation of a peace dividend following the end of superpower rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. However, the reality has been that arms spending and procurement have continued to increase in the post-Cold War period. The increase in military expenditure has been accompanied by the procurement of weapons systems of increasing range, capability and sophistication, thus ensuring not just the continuation but also the expansion of the trade in arms. This raises key questions that will be addressed in the volume: what are the key drivers of the arms trade? What have been the trends in the arms trade? What are the key issues?
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


  • arms trade
  • post-Cold War
  • military expenditure
  • United States
  • weapons systems

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