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Military Spending and the Washington Consensus: The
Unrecognized Link between Militarization and the Global
Item type text; Electronic Dissertation
Authors Jackson, Susan Teresa
Publisher The University of Arizona.
Rights Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this
material is made possible by the University Libraries,
University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction
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MILITARY SPENDING AND THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS: THE
UNRECOGNIZED LINK BETWEEN MILITARIZATION AND THE GLOBAL
POLITICAL ECONOMYby Susan T. Jackson __________________
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCEIn Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYIn the Graduate College
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Date: 07/30/2008 _______________________________________________________________________
Thomas Volgy Date: 07/30/2008 _______________________________________________________________________
V. Spike Peterson Date: 07/30/2008 _______________________________________________________________________
Charles Ragin Final approval and acceptance of this dissertation is contingent upon the candidate’s submission of the final copies of the dissertation to the Graduate College.
I hereby certify that I have read this dissertation prepared under my direction and recommend that it be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation requirement.
________________________________________________ Date: 07/30/2008 Dissertation Director: Thomas Volgy
STATEMENT BY AUTHORThis dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made available to borrowers under rules of the Library.
Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgment of source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the head of the major department or the Dean of the Graduate College when in his or her judgment the proposed use of the material is in the interests of scholarship. In all other instances, however, permission must be obtained from the author.
As with any major undertaking, it often is not difficult to know where to begin with thanks, though it often is difficult to know where to end. For my committee members who have been more supportive than I could have expected or hoped, I owe you my profound thanks. Tom Volgy, Spike Peterson, and Charles Ragin helped me get through what is normally a trying experience that turned into an ordeal, with the birth of two children, three major household moves, a career lay-off of the family breadwinner, and other such life happenings that challenged my ability to remain continuously focused and motivated. Their never-ending encouragement and guidance gave me the energy required to fulfill my need to complete this project and to begin my journey into post-doctoral life.
I also want to thank everyone who was so helpful with providing timely answers to my often difficult and esoteric questions. In (rough) order of appearance, these people include Rob Stewart-Ingersoll; John Feffer; the folks at SIPRI (especially Catalina Perdomo); Frida Berrigan of the World Policy Institute; Thomas Jackson and Nic Marsh of NISAT; Gary Goertz; Kathy Powers; Paul Ingram and David Isenberg of BASIC;
Tania Inowlocki of the Small Arms Survey; Juliana Horowitz of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press; Paul Bailey of the ILO; Ronald Steenblik of the Global Subsidies Initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development; Andrew Shrank; David Steinberg; Ronen Palan; Donal Godfrey of OECD; Yingxin Wu; and Anthony Kim of the Heritage Foundation. On the administrative side, I thank Vickie Healey in the Political Science Department’s office at the University of Arizona. Without her, three years of dissertation work away from my home institution would have been a paperwork nightmare. Lastly, I would like to thank the man who told me since information is expensive he could not provide me with any assistance. From him I learned that, as with most things in life, the scholarly endeavor is best advanced through openness and generosity. If anyone has been omitted from this list, my apologies in advance. I am sure in the years to come when I finish unpacking from the multitude of recent moves, I will find a more complete list of those who shared their expertise and interest when I needed it most. Until then, thank you, thank you everyone, though any error found herein should be attributed to me.
I guess I do know where to end and that would be with my family, the one I almost lost in my search for higher knowledge. I especially want to thank my life partner, Lon Pilot, who dealt with the tantrums (both mine and the kids’), all the late nights, being married to a geek, and the endless hours of listening to me explain my work because my home institution was so very far away.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
What My Study Offers
The Fourth Approach
Research Question and Project Significance
Overview of Key Concepts
CHAPTER 2: GLOBALIZATION AND MILITARY SPENDING—WHATSOCIOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONALISM OFFERS OUR UNDERSTANDING...........41 The Other Approaches First
The Washington Consensus
The Washington Consensus and Commonsense
The Neo-Liberal Economic Agenda
The Key Global Actors
International Financial Institutions
Sociological Institutionalism and the Washington Consensus
The National Security Exception in Action
Tensions and Social Constructs
CHAPTER 3: THE LITERATURE REVIEW
The Washington Consensus and Militarization
CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Qualitative, Quantitative, and Synthesis of the Two
Data and Measurements
The Outcome: Anomalous Post-Cold War Military Spending
Neo-Liberal Economic Agenda
Strong National Security Exception (sNSE)
Weak National Security Exception (wNSE)
International Financial Institutions (IFIs)
CHAPTER 5: FSQCA AND THE PEACE DIVIDEND
The Main Components of fsQCA
Parsimonious, Complex, and Intermediate Solutions
Necessary Conditions Revisited
Considering the Causal Combinations and the Outcomes
CHAPTER 6: ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS
Revisiting the Hypotheses
APPENDIX A: CALIBRATION METHODS
APPENDIX B: PEACE DIVIDEND DATA CHALLENGES
APPENDIX C: THE NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC AGENDA
APPENDIX D: STRONG NATIONAL SECURITY EXCEPTION
APPENDIX E: THE WEAK NATIONAL SECURITY EXCEPTION
APPENDIX F: INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
APPENDIX G: WEALTH
APPENDIX H: CONFLICT
APPENDIX I: NECESSARY CONDITIONS
APPENDIX J: SOLUTION SETS AND RECIPES
Military spending briefly dipped in the early 1990s only to rebound by the end of the 20th century, yet policymakers and academics alike predicted a peace dividend if the cold war should end. What happened to this peace dividend? How do some countries actualize a peace dividend in a world that seems not to encourage one? Typically military spending is analyzed through lenses focusing on international politics, bureaucratic process, or domestic political economy. I argue that these three lenses have failed to account for some of the reasons military spending remains high in the post-cold war era. Utilizing sociological institutionalism and world models, I examine how the rules of the Washington consensus via the neo-liberal economic agenda and the national security exception promote high levels of military spending that the three main theories fail to recognize. This study particularly delves into the roles of states and transnational corporations in terms of competitiveness in the global political economy and privileges allotted to the military industry. My tests rely on fuzzy-set comparative qualitative analysis (fsQCA) as an innovative means for looking at necessary conditions as well as sufficient conjunctural causation through which countries can achieve a peace dividend in the post-cold war era.
War is just a racket... It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses... There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its 'finger men' to point out enemies, its 'muscle men' to destroy enemies, its 'brain men' to plan war preparations, and a 'Big Boss' Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. (Major General Smedley Butler, 1933) It was widely believed that once the cold war ended the resources used toward militaries and security during the cold war would transfer to other needs. Now just a decade and a half after the end of the cold war much of these resources throughout the world continue to be allotted to the military.1 Traditionally, scholars see international politics, bureaucratic process, and the domestic political economy as the most compelling explanations for military spending. I argue that the identities and social constructs that comprise the global political economy mediate the impact of the external environment on military spending such that the traditional explanations only capture part of the picture. I suggest that military spending decisions are shaped by the identities and social constructs that impact how people view the world and their societies. These identities and social constructs influence the role militaries play in how we define states, transnational corporations, and international financial institutions, as well as the expectations we assign these actors in the global political economy.
While below I discuss regional and country variation, overall world military expenditures are reaching the 1987-88 cold war peak. Current figures show world levels close to this peak (SIPRI 2005: Recent Trends; see also WMEAT 2003). Since the late 1990s, military spending as a percent of gross domestic product has increased in highand low-income countries while decreasing in middle-income countries (SIPRI 2008b).
The current chapter sets the context for this study then outlines the contributions made by the three main approaches to understanding military spending: international politics especially in terms of threat; bureaucratic process; and the domestic political economy. I then suggest a fourth approach that focuses on the Washington consensus in terms of the neo-liberal economic agenda and the national security exception. I argue that the manner in which we conduct the global political economy under the Washington consensus via the neo-liberal economic agenda and by privileging the military through the national security exception explain what the other theories miss about high post-cold war military spending. What is it that those countries that do have peace dividends in this era have in common under the Washington consensus that encourages them to lower military spending even as the global trend is to increase this spending? While it is possible this fourth approach works independently, it more likely has elements that interact or overlap with the more traditional explanations. For these reasons, this study sets out to examine what elements of the global political economy might contribute to lower military spending, even with the dominance of the Washington consensus and its national security exception, and just how much and in what ways.