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The UK Offset Model: From Participation to Engagement

Ron Matthews
Whitehall Reports, 29 July 2014
Equipment and Acquisitions, UK
The UK’s Industrial Participation policy was deliberately crafted as an open and liberal regime, and was thus strikingly different to most other countries’ more prescriptive offset frameworks. But is it fit for purpose?

The UK’s Industrial Participation policy was deliberately crafted as an open and liberal regime, and was thus strikingly different to most other countries’ more prescriptive offset frameworks. Officials long argued that the policy’s distinctive emphasis on competitiveness and open-market processes proved the catalyst for successful outcomes.

'The UK Offset Model: From Participation to Engagement' is the first study to evaluate whether Britain’s offset policy is fit for purpose. It offers a critical review of the theoretical and policy dynamics of offset developments over recent decades, focusing, in particular, on the ramifications of the 2009 EU Defence and Security Procurement Directive on country offset policies. It then identifies and analyses the principal characteristics of Britain’s industrial participation policy. Finally, it offers a perspective on the transition process, especially in the UK, following the passage of the controversial EU Defence and Security Procurement Directive.

About the Author

Ron Matthews holds the Chair in Defence Economics at Cranfield University at the UK Defence Academy. Between 2007 and 2014, he also held, concurrently, the Chair in Defence Economics at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Ron has been awarded two NATO scholarships supporting research on International Arms Collaboration conducted at the Pentagon and the Institute of War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. He has also won a Robert S McNamara World Bank Research Fellowship that supported empirical work on African technological development. This defence-development relation has characterised Ron’s research focus, especially in the field of defence offset. He is an expert on the topic, with an international profile that includes lecturing to academic and policy-making audiences, publication of books and learned articles and consultancy encompassing European defence manufacturers and offset authorities in Asia and the Middle East.

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