Sovereignty in a resource-constrained environment

Graeme Dunk

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Sovereignty has many interpretations. Amongst these is the concept of Westphalian sovereignty and the associated protection of the state, its territory, its people, and its institutions. This is essentially the reason for which defence forces exist. Sovereignty is however not an absolute. It is a tradable commodity with a value that depends upon the situation. This includes within defence industry, and the specific situation is a determinant in decisions regarding the level of Government investment into local industry capabilities. The issue of sovereignty within the Future Submarine Project is illustrative of this. Australian defence faces similar challenges to that in most other countries in that it is a resource-constrained environment. We cannot do, or have, everything that we want to do, or have. Given this fundamental limitation we must therefore prioritise. Sovereignty in the defence industry space is no different in this regard. Prioritisation means that investments must be directed to those areas that will return the greatest benefit. Given that the defence force exists to mitigate strategic risks, it logically follows that the highest return for the Government's investment into a defence force will be in those areas which serve to mitigate the greatest strategic risks. Defence industry sovereignty can therefore be used to obtain this aim. This paper will explore the nature of sovereignty in defence industry, how it links to operational sovereignty, and to the mitigation of strategic risk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event4th SIA Submarine Science, Technology and Engineering Conference 2017 (SubSTEC4) - Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2017 → …


    Conference4th SIA Submarine Science, Technology and Engineering Conference 2017 (SubSTEC4)
    Period1/01/17 → …


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