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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Frameworks for Analyzing Chinese Defense and Military Innovation


This policy brief puts forward an analytical framework to capture the nature, dimensions, and spectrum of innovation in the military and broader defense spheres. Insights are drawn from a range of disciplines, including history, social science, business, and strategic studies. The analytical framework is composed of six lenses through which to view the inputs, process, and output of innovation: 1) the components of innovation: technology, doctrine, and organization; 2) the capacity to innovate: that is, innovation potential; 3) the process of innovation: speculation, experimentation, and implementation; 4) the degree of innovation: from duplicative imitation to radical innovation; 5) the scope of innovation; and 6) systems of innovation.

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