Military-industrial complexities, university research, and neoliberal economy

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The paper provides an analysis of the militarization of scientific research and the scale and consequences of military and defence related research on university campuses in the United States and United Kingdom. It achieves this through an analysis of the historical background to the complex forms of articulation which have developed between the military, industry and university research. Particular consideration is given to developments in the United States from 1940, including concerns expressed about the impact of an expanding military-industrial complex on the conduct of research in universities. Drawing on critical social and historical research the paper analyses the relationship between universities and colleges and the institution of the military in the United States and the United Kingdom, the symbiotic relationship between neoliberalism and militarism, and in addition, the consequences for the conduct of research in the natural sciences and the social sciences within universities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-481
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • military-industrial complex
  • Eisenhower
  • university research funding
  • neoliberalism
  • Minerva Initiative and militarization of social science
  • Research Excellence Framework
  • RAND


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