The defence industries
are the focus of conversion efforts. Yet until comparatively recently very little by way of in-depth research had been done into the economic parameters of those industries. A great deal of theorising about conversion had been undertaken on the basis of a very limited data base. The publication of
The Structure of the Defense Industry: An International Survey
, edited by Nicole Ball and Milton Leitenberg (1983), represented therefore an important step forward in that it provided a comparative assessment of the economic parameters of the defence industries of several countries, including all the major Western industrialised states except the United Kingdom. (The latter was confined to a statistical appendix.)
As the authors of this study themselves claimed:
Any realistic assessment of the effects of reductions in defence industries — that is, the conversion of military industries to civilian uses — must take as its starting point the role played by these industries in present-day national economies.