Nitsan Chorev, "The political economy of Israel’s export-led security-oriented innovation"

Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building

In recent decades, Israel has become known as a tech powerhouse – the country is fondly referred to as a “start-up nation.” Yet Israel’s current fame in developing and exporting cyber technologies is only the latest phase in a longer history, in which part of Israel’s export-led economic development focused on security products and services, including weapons, military training, drones, and intelligence collection. In contrast to the sociological scholarship that stresses state support in explaining economic development, I draw on the case of Israel to study the role of the military in such development – and what consequences such security-oriented development has. Rather than assuming a “military-industrial complex” with an inappropriate influence on government policies, however, I am interested in the very complex relations between the military and the industry, on the one hand, and the changing relations between the government and the military-industrial nexus on the other. Drawing on the case of the spyware industry in particular, in this lecture I will introduce initial insights from this study.