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Private infrastructure in weaponized interdependence

Review of International political Economy.webp


The ability of states to exploit private resources at an international level is an increasingly salient political issue. In explaining the mechanisms of this shift, the framework of Weaponized Interdependence has quickly risen to prominence, arguing that those states that are centrally placed in global networks can exploit their centrality given the appropriate domestic institutions. Building on this framework, I suggest that the relationship between states and the private corporations holding the resources states seek to exploit is more dynamic and contested than assumed. Drawing on developments in the industry for constructing and operating submarine cables, I find that a paradigm shift in the market has significantly limited the authority of states vis-à-vis key market players. The contribution of this finding is to expand Weaponized Interdependence as a framework, paying closer attention to the relationship between private companies and states. This expansion allows for the utilization of Weaponized Interdependence as a framework for a broader set of cases, explaining not only when a network is prone to weaponization but also the limitations states face when they seek to do so.
  • Published year: 2022
  • DOI:
  • Publisher: Taylor and Francis
  • Language: English
  • Journal: Review of International Political Economy
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