Moving towards a European defence industry? The political discourse on a changing reality and its implications for the future of the European union

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Abstract

Since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 the European Union has been an increasingly important actor in the field of security and defence. However, the defence industries sector has largely been kept away from Brussels. This has usually been justified by the role that national defence industries have traditionally played as fundamental pillars for the survival of the European nation-states, thus making them reluctant to share this "sovereign tool" with the European Union. Nonetheless, recent steps in both the economic (large number of mergers and acquisitions within the European defence industry sector) and the political (security and defence integration measures within the European Union) arenas have contributed to changes in the political discourse on defence industries within the European space. This article aims to explore how the national discourse on defence industries has become interrelated with a European discourse on the topic-a European discourse that mixes some of the old national arguments with particular aspects related to the constant evolution of the European Union towards an ever more coherent regional polity and international actorness. Also analysed is the extent to which this political move puts at risk the European Union's ambitions to promote a better world, based on an alternative understanding of international politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-485
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Society
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online date12 Oct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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