Middle Eastern States in the Global Military Order
More than three-quarters of the weapons traded since 1970 have gone to the developing world, but there are few studies or rudimentary comparative theories that make sense of this process from the recipient state's perspective. Scholars who study the "global arms transfer and production system" have little understanding of the external and internal factors that shape defence and security policies in the developing world.2 Perhaps this was simply an inevitable part of the process of developing a theoretically-informed, well-supported literature; or perhaps analysts who study global arms transfers (as this author has done extensively) have systematically ignored important questions and issues. But it is appropriate, especially in a time of change and turbulence, to reexamine the way in which scholars have studied the arms trade and (intentionally or inadvertently) not given certain questions sustained research attention. In particular, I want to draw attention to four broad issues that must be addressed to strengthen our understanding of the processes and dynamics at work in the global arms transfer and production system.