Purpose – This paper aims to provide a meta‐analysis of the main themes emerging from public domain foresight studies on the defence and security environment undertaken in the decade since the 9/11 attacks on the USA. The authors focus mainly on foresight studies undertaken in Europe. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a content analysis of public domain foresight studies. Findings – Foresight studies on the defence and security environment reflect a shift in security thinking away from a focus on state‐centric threats towards a much broader view of security risks that includes risks presented by the vulnerability of European society to the failure of critical infrastructure, to pandemics, environmental change and resource based conflicts. The authors place a particular emphasis on the treatment of technological change in these defence and security foresight studies and argue that the growing importance of dual‐use technologies is likely to mean that defence will play a declining role as a sponsor and lead‐user of advanced technologies in the future. Originality/value – Foresight studies on the defence and security environment have grown in number since 9/11 not least in Europe. However, they have been the subject of little systematic analysis. This paper makes a contribution to such an analysis.
foresight – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 8, 2014
Keywords: Innovation; European Union; Conflict; Scenario planning; State security; Warfare
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