GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Coordination Problems of Coordinated Market Economies in Multiple Arenas: Implications for Arms Trade and Military Services in the Gulf Region
Paper Proposal Text :
Western democracies are faced with countervailing pressures where it comes to engagement in MENA arms markets. On the one hand, unlike in the US, public opinion outside the Anglosphere tends to be sharply critical of an engagement in the international arms trade, particularly when the destination is in a global hotspot and the country of origin has had an ambiguous relationship with military activity, as is the case in Germany and Japan.

Using a political economy framework integrating the concept of games in multiple arenas, this submission investigates the differing abilities of Western democracies in providing integrated frameworks for the arms trade, but also their overall military cooperation in the Gulf region.

Giving pride of place to the cases of France and Germany in Western Europe and Japan and Korea in East Asia, this comparative case study investigates the extent to which governments, bureaucracies and corporates in these countries have managed to coordinate their efforts with a view to achieving a dual payoff structure for economic objectives and perceived security needs by engaging Gulf buyers of military equipment, leveraging their considerable industrial capabilities in this area. It assesses different patterns of cooperation between national actors in these countries of origin, and compares their ability to achieve coordinated outcomes in the region.

In so doing, it focuses on countries that boast economically coordinated market economies, but differ in their ability to articulate a coherent defense policy – with Japan and Germany handicapped by unfortunate experiences with militarism in the past and the resulting institutional and mentality changes, and considerably different traditions present in Korea and France.
As a result, it is expected that countries such as Korea and France will display a greater capability of institutional coordination, whereas Germany and Japan are expected to score lower on this scale, and as a result, companies engaged in the field would be expected to engage more in stand-alone strategies.
From a resource security perspective, a second pattern is expected: while Japan and Korea as major buyers of Gulf energy products display a strong energy dependence on the region, this is not the case in Western Europe, where other sources of energy products predominate.
Finally, from a market-seeking perspective, all three states have a similarly capable industrial base for which an engagement with Gulf buyers is of interest, as well as highly developed training capacities in the defense industry.
As a result, patterns of engagement currently seen in the Gulf should be found to be clearly traceable to resources and endowments at the country level, and a clearer assessment of national coordinative capabilities will emerge.

Notwithstanding the long-standing links to US and UK agencies and corporates in this area, rising powers from the BRIC universe with a competing set of capabilities have increasingly come to the fore. In what is becoming a buyer’s market increasingly crowded with producer hopefuls, this research will hence provide an insight into the extent to which providers from coordinated Western market economies can be expected to claim a larger share in the Gulf defense market.