Perhaps the most obvious impact of military technology on international relations is the problem widely, but often inaccurately, referred to as ‘arms racing’. The term arms racing suggests a self-stimulating military rivalry between states in which their efforts to defend themselves militarily cause them to enhance the threats they pose to each other. In other words, given the political condition of anarchy, states are vulnerable to a type of competition with each other in which military technology is a major independent variable. As was argued in Part I, military technology has its own historical dynamic of qualitative advance and geopolitical spread. The idea of arms racing thus suggests that the dynamic of military technology is in major part responsible for one of the central problems in relations between states.


International Relation Armed Force Broad Meaning Military Technology Military Capability 
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Copyright information

© International Institute for Strategic Studies 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Buzan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International StudiesUniversity of WarwickUK

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