Universities, the military, and the means of destruction in the United Kingdom

Chris Langley

Abstract


High-technology weapons and their support platforms, together with robotic vehicles and satellite-based communications systems, have come to dominate how many nations frame their defense policies and wage war. The resulting technological dependence creates a number of problems for governments, not least the growing military budgets which are required to procure such means of waging war, but also the costly research and development which underpins such devices. Increasingly governments and military corporations have turned to universities to augment the expertise found within industry. This shift to reliance upon the universities impacts not only on the securitization of science and technology but also the role and character of the university in society. Using universities as R&D laboratories creates a culture of secrecy and commercial sensitivity and tends to reduce the available expertise for more positive ways of addressing potential and actual conflict. Moreover, military involvement with teaching and research also limits the skills base available for the nonmilitary sector. These issues call for a wide-ranging and robust examination.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.3.1.49

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