Weapon Innovation: Networks and Guiding Principles

Boelem Elzen, Bert Enserink, Wim A. Smit

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    103 Downloads (Pure)


    The present path of weapon innovation, meant to increase national security, may actually undermine it. Present arms control negotiations, such as the
    CFE (Conventional Armed Forces in Europe), focus on reductions of troops and existing conventional weapons. In a situation of reduced levels of armament, qualitative changes arising from weapon innovations may pose an even greater threat to stability and thus to (inter)national security. Up till now these have not been part of arms control negotiations.
    This article explores how to make arms control considerations part and parcel of the military technological innovation process. It introduces the specifically well-defined concept of 'guiding principle' as an instrument for decentralized control
    of innovation in military technology and applies theoretical constructs (notably a network analysis) from the sociology of technology to analyze the developmental process of the European Fighter Aircraft and its radar.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-193
    Number of pages23
    JournalScience and public policy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


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