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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) was founded in 1983 as a multi-campus research unit serving the entire University of California system. IGCC addresses global challenges to peace and prosperity through academically rigorous, policy-relevant research, training, and outreach on international security, economic development, and the environment. IGCC brings scholars together across social science and lab science disciplines to work on topics such as regional security, nuclear proliferation, innovation and national security, development and political violence, emerging threats, and climate change.

As the University of California’s system-wide institute on international security, IGCC convenes expert researchers across UC campuses and the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, along with US and international policy leaders, to develop solutions and provide insights on many of the most profound global security challenges. IGCC disseminates its research findings through its website, weekly newsletters, research briefs, working papers, books, and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Cover page of Innovation in the Interwar Years

Innovation in the Interwar Years

(2018)

Defense innovation is the transformation of ideas and knowledge into new or improved products, processes, and services for military and dual-use applications. It refers primarily to organizations and activities associated with the defense and dual-use civil-military science, technology, and industrial base. Included at this level are, for instance, changes in planning, programming, budgeting, research, development, acquisition and other business processes. The period between the two world wars offers a rich set of cases for examining defense innovation. These include the development of armored warfare, strategic bombing, close air support, carrier aviation, amphibious warfare, and radio and radar. Whereas others have focused on military innovation in the interwar period, the focus of this brief is on defense innovation in general, andthe development of tanks in Britain, the United States, and Germany in particular.

Cover page of Examining India’s Defense Innovation Performance

Examining India’s Defense Innovation Performance

(2018)

India has expended a great deal of energy and resources to set up a vast defense economy to innovate and produce state-of-the-art weapon systems for use by the armed forces. However, the performance of the defense economy has been largely suboptimal, leading to poor self-reliancein arms procurement and heavy dependence on foreign sources for meeting the key defense requirements. An examination of the causes of poor performance exhibits a number of  hortcomings related to India’s both 'hard' and 'soft' innovation capacities. Inefficiency and lack of reforms of the main research and development (R&D) and manufacturing players, meager R&D and procurement budgets, poor management of human resources, lack of strong support from the political leadership, and a weak acquisition system, leave India’s defense innovation in a poor state.

Cover page of New Frontiers of Chinese Defense Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies

New Frontiers of Chinese Defense Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies

(2018)

Will the Chinese military succeed in advancing new frontiers of defense innovation? China has already emerged as a powerhouse in artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. The continued advances in these dual-use technologies may be leveraged for military applications pursuant to a national strategy of military-civil fusion. At this point, the trajectory of technological developments is uncertain, and considerable challenges remain to the actualization of deeper fusion of China’s defense and commercial sectors. However, if successful, China’s ambitions to lead in these strategic technologies could enable it to pioneer new paradigms of military power.

Cover page of Introduction to 2018 SITC Research Briefs

Introduction to 2018 SITC Research Briefs

(2018)

How do countries around the world approach and engage in defense innovation? Are there common patterns, catalysts, and enabling factors that identify and explain why some countries are successful while others struggle? This year’s edition of research briefs from the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Study of Innovation and Technology in China project examines these questions.

Cover page of The Israeli Approach to Defense Innovation

The Israeli Approach to Defense Innovation

(2018)

The brief reflects on the evolution of the Israeli approach to military innovation and describes its proclivities, in order to enable comparative analysis and a more generalizable analytical framework. It first describes the structural factors that account for the Israeli fixation on the military-industrial complex and defense innovation; then it outlines the social-organizational factors, which have enabled and conditioned its realization. It concludes with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli approach and a review of recent trends.

Cover page of North Korea’s Approach to Defense Innovation: Foreign Absorption, Domestic Innovation, and the Nuclear and Ballistic Weapons Industrial Base

North Korea’s Approach to Defense Innovation: Foreign Absorption, Domestic Innovation, and the Nuclear and Ballistic Weapons Industrial Base

(2018)

The international community has consistently underestimated North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities. How has an economically impoverished, technologically backward, and internationally isolated state been able to establish robust and increasingly competent nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, especially since the mid-2010s? Has North Korea predominantly relied on foreign sources of technology or are its nuclear and missile programs the result of domestic effort? Even when technologies have been borrowed, a detailed analysis of the evolution of the programs suggests sustained domestic investment has proven crucial. The result is a far-flung and large weapons of mass destruction (WMD) infrastructure. Any negotiations over the program must take the extent of this infrastructure into account and consider the challenges of how to inspect, verify, and limit them, including through repurposing these capabilities to civilian uses.

Cover page of Military-Technological Innovation in Small States: The Cases of Israel and Singapore

Military-Technological Innovation in Small States: The Cases of Israel and Singapore

(2018)

Israel and Singapore are both countries with small populations and no strategic depth, and both see technology as a crucial force multiplier when it comes to national security. Israel, however, has been much more successful than Singapore in developing a range of indigenous military-technological innovations. The reasons are both geostrategic and cultural. Israel faces a much more looming and imminent threat which demands more military-technological innovation. Moreover, Israel’s informal and anti-hierarchical society is much more supportive than Singapore’s when it comes to risk-taking and experimentation.

Cover page of Critical Factors in Enabling Defense Innovation: A Systems Perspective

Critical Factors in Enabling Defense Innovation: A Systems Perspective

(2018)

This brief provides an analytical framework to identify, categorize, and assess the diverse array of factors that are involved in the pursuit of defense innovation, as viewed through an innovation ecosystem prism. Defense innovation systems are engaged in highly complex, time-consuming and resource-intensive work. Many of the insights from this framework are derived from an extensive examination into the state of innovation in the contemporary Chinese defense science, technology, andindustrial system, examined in more detail in Brief 2018-3 in this series.

Cover page of How China’s Defense Innovation System Is Advancing the Country’s Military Technological Rise

How China’s Defense Innovation System Is Advancing the Country’s Military Technological Rise

(2018)

The preceding brief in the series provided an analytical framework for examining a country’s defense innovation system and the factors that shape innovation outcomes. This brief applies the framework to examine the factors at work in the Chinese defense innovation system. There are many reasons explaining the successful transformation of the Chinese defense innovation system from an ossified dinosaur in the 1990s to an increasingly credible military technological competitor on the global stage at the end of the 2010s. China’s approach to defense innovation has undergone considerable evolution since it launched a full-fledged modernization of its defense science, technology, and industrial (DSTI) system in the late 1990s. Some of these changes mirror what has taken place within the civilian sector, but there is also much that is different because of the specific dynamics of the defense arena.

Cover page of The Very Healthy US Defense Innovation System

The Very Healthy US Defense Innovation System

(2018)

The US defense innovation system enjoys tremendous advantages that other countries cannot readily replicate. It has accumulated capabilities over decades of funding and experimentation that dwarf other countries’ efforts, and the incentives to innovate in the United States are not easily replicable elsewhere. The unique US political system favors substitution of technology for labor, openness to new ideas, and competition among decentralized organizations to solve national security challenges. The constant worrying that the United States is losing its defense innovation advantages is simply part of the politics that keep the United States far, far ahead of its potential rivals.