This paper develops an analytical framework that predicts military spending to be associated with national security risks and lagged military spending. It tests for these predictions in an encompassing model of military spending using global data covering more than 140 countries and broadly corroborates these predictions in polities with continuous years of competitive elections or institutionalized parties. It finds that military spending was not found to change much under young democracies.¬† In view of the high risks facing the Arab world, including the young democracies of the Arab Spring, the research predicts the current military build-up to continue for several years. It also draws implications from the analysis for trends in democracy and military spending in the region.
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