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This article questions Bastien Irondelle’s “Europeanization without the EU” thesis (2003) and shows its limits in the case of fighter jets. Starting from the observation that, when it comes to choosing their fighter jets, European governments remain divided between four different aircraft (the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Gripen, the Rafale and the JSF F-35), we develop a comparative analysis of national decision-making processes. Specifically, we argue that two variables explain weapon procurement?: the industrial structure, i.e., the relative autonomy of the military aerospace sector, and the political preferences of national strategic elites. These two variables derived from political economy and international relations theory allow us to understand the limits of Europeanization in this sector.

Catherine Hoeffler
Frédéric Mérand
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Latest publication on cairn or another partner portal
This peer-reviewed journal is devoted to European studies (public policies, international relations, political sociology, and political theory). It is the leading journal for political scientists in the francophone academic field and for actors of the European Union. It publishes thematic special issues or “Varia” in French or English. Read more...
Uploaded on Cairn-int.info on 07/10/2015
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