An Alternative Exploration of Global Political Relations in Southern Africa during the Cold War: Modularity in the Global Arms Trade Network from 1975 to 1988
Keywords:complex networks, complex systems, modularity, arms industry, arms trade network, Cold War, Southern Africa
During the Cold War, two camps used arms to expand their influence in the Third World. In the present study, I used the concept of modularity (Q), developed within network theory, to study communities within the global arms trade network from 1975 to 1988. Using data provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, I showed that communities within this network had political ties with South America, Asia and Southern Africa. As part of the study I sorted countries based on their arms trade transactions, and in the process I established that China was positioned with the West in the period under study. Not only did my study show that the arms trade network reflected political alliances during this period, but it also indicated that this network highlighted international relations and the alliances of political organisations. Based on the findings of my study I put forward suggestions for future research.
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