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Sociology: Research


Paper Details

Author: Edited by Donald Hislop & Alex Law

Title: Restructuring the Defence Industry After the Cold War: Proceedings of a Seminar on Current Research

Year: 1996

ISBN: 1-900522-35-7

The papers collected here were presented at a seminar in June 1995, some five years after the Cold War petered out. The seminar was organised mainly as a result of our frustration, as two doctoral researchers, at the relatively poor dissemination of research findings into the defence industry. Recently a swathe of reports and studies have been commissioned into many aspects of defence industry restructuring and specialised journals such as Defence Economics founded. Yet the consequences of 'demilitarising' industries and economies, if that is indeed what has been happening, has not really broken out of the narrowly-based forums around industry interest groups or arms conversion lobby groups. Moreover, most published material was rapidly going out of date and theory seemed to be stuck in the partisan mire of the bipolar Cold War camps. Basically, our aim was to set up a platform for current work, both empirical and theoretical, since the present state of knowledge was lagging well behind events. Things have moved on further since June 1995 - we would like to apologise for the delay in producing the seminar proceedings. The seminar more than served its purpose. A wide range of issues were addressed and the participants ensured that the discussion was lively and informed. Some gaps in knowledge were filled in and, we think, the basis laid for a problem shift in the way the defence industry is approached as in its historic isolation from the rest of industry and capitalist economies become increasingly eroded. The papers are presented in three sections, with debates and discussions following. Some papers are edited transcripts of oral presentations, others are rough or polished drafts, while still others are finished papers which have subsequently appeared in print either in whole or part. Finally, we would like to thank all who contributed to the seminar and anticipate that its main themes will be a basis for constantly renewed argument for some time to come.