Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Political Science

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, vi, 147 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Bryan Early

Committee Members

Victor Asal, David Rousseau


Antiship missiles, Ballistic missiles, Cruise missiles, Military art and science, Weapons systems

Subject Categories

International Relations


What explains the variation in the sophistication of states military production capabilities? This dissertation analyzes this broader question by looking at the development of production capabilities of an arms sector that has required constant innovation—anti-ship missiles (ASMs), land attack cruise missiles (LACMs), and short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs). I theorize that military innovation is driven by a combination of supply-side factors involving scientific and technical (S&T) human capital and demand-side factors including security, economic, and normative motives. This dissertation explores the factors associated with the proliferation of ASMs, LACMs, and SRBMs as part of a three-essay dissertation. The chapters on ASMs and LACMs relies on new data on cruise missile production capabilities and leverages a new measure of cruise missile sophistication as my dependent variable. Large-n analyses are used to explore the factors associated with acquiring missile production capabilities of different levels of sophistication for both ASMs and LACMs. The chapter on SRBMs explores how states innovate through reverse-engineering foreign purchased missile systems. Together, the inquiries find that states acquire ASM, LACM, and SRBM production capacities through fear and science. Demand for these capabilities is driven by security threats. The ability to produce these weapons is dependent on scientific and technical human capital. Finally, the sophistication of states' missile production capacities is fostered by the diffusion of missiles and related dual-use technology and equipment into the system.