Winging it? Defence Procurement as Risk Management

19 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2014

See all articles by John Louth

John Louth

Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies

Rebecca Boden

University of Roehampton

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

In this paper, war is characterised as a risk management strategy, with defence procurement as a risk mitigating activity. Risk management within the defence procurement context is explored by way of a detailed case study of a UK procurement team from within what was the Defence Logistics Organisation (a Tri‐Service/Civil Service central organisation) with the Royal Air Force as its customer. In this paper risk management is conceptualised theoretically as an aspect of governmentality. The analysis of the case study organisation demonstrates that it has become devoted to managing risk. The operation of governmental power within the organisation is analysed using Lukes' ([Lukes, S., 2005]) three dimensions. The paper demonstrates that risk management operates as a hegemonic discursive rationality at a level where individuals become enfolded in these discourses, becoming economic citizens and workers rather than military personnel. This, it is concluded, has grave human consequences.

Keywords: risk, risk management, governmentality, defence procurement, power

Suggested Citation

Louth, John and Boden, Rebecca, Winging it? Defence Procurement as Risk Management (August 2014). Financial Accountability & Management, Vol. 30, Issue 3, pp. 303-321, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2472189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/faam.12040

John Louth (Contact Author)

Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies ( email )

London SW1A 2ET
United Kingdom

Rebecca Boden

University of Roehampton ( email )

Roehampton Lane
London
United Kingdom

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