Power and Arms: The Diffusion of Military Innovations and Technology. A Comparative Historical Analysis of the Spread of Military Power After the Cold War and Consequences for the Norwegian Navy in the NATO Alliance
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This thesis investigates the extensive puzzle of various influences on the diffusion of military power, meaning the spread of certain innovations, through the international system and the implications for international politics and the NATO alliance. Building on recent contributions to the studies of diffusion of military innovations, this thesis explores how and why certain innovations spread at a faster rate than others, through theoretical accounts of revolution in military affairs and adoption capacity theory, not only for discussing how military power diffuses through the international system as a whole, but also in relation to the case of sea power and modern warship innovations. According to previous literature, military technologies should spread fairly quickly because of structural pressures to emulate and the possibility to free-ride on research and development investments made by other states. Conversely, history offers numerous examples in which major military innovations spread neither quickly nor extensively. In order to explain this puzzle, the study intends to provide useful insights on states’ financial and organizational capacity to adopt and implement new military innovations, and what this imply for the NATO alliance. Through a comparative historical analysis, the mechanisms at play will be mapped out by applying process tracing and historical accounts, and moreover, empirically tested against the theoretical and analytical framework.