The Major Western Defence Industries

  • Peter Southwood


The defence industries1 are the focus of conversion efforts. Yet until comparatively recently very little by way of in-depth research had been done into the economic parameters of those industries. A great deal of theorising about conversion had been undertaken on the basis of a very limited data base. The publication of The Structure of the Defense Industry: An International Survey, edited by Nicole Ball and Milton Leitenberg (1983), represented therefore an important step forward in that it provided a comparative assessment of the economic parameters of the defence industries of several countries, including all the major Western industrialised states except the United Kingdom. (The latter was confined to a statistical appendix.)2 As the authors of this study themselves claimed:

Any realistic assessment of the effects of reductions in defence industries — that is, the conversion of military industries to civilian uses — must take as its starting point the role played by these industries in present-day national economies.3


Defence Industry Defence Spending Weapon Programme Defence Work Defence Dependency 
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Notes and Reference

  1. 26.
    SIPRI, World Armaments and Disarmament: SIPRI Yearbook 1985 (London, 1985), pp. 288 and 291.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter M. Southwood 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Southwood

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