July, 2014

The Political Economy of Drones

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Abigail Hall

    Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Tampa
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Find the article at Taylor and Francis Online. 

This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or ‘drones’ in the USA. Focus is placed on the interplay between the polity and private economic influences, and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and 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 present relationships. Understanding the historical 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.