The Political Economy of Drones
33 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013 Last revised: 5 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 26, 2013
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, political economy, public choice, military-industrial complex
JEL Classification: D72, D73, O38, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation