Course Syllabus Strategic Management of Capability Development and Defence Acquisition

Course Code:
Valid from Semester:
Education Cycle:
Advanced level
7.5 Higher education credit
Grading Scale:
Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction
Main Field of Study:
Systems Science for Defence and Security
Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security
Systems Science for Defence and Security
Language of Instruction:
The education is partially in English
Decided by:
The Research and Education Board’s Course Syllabus Committee at the Swedish Defence University
Decision date:

Entry Requirements

Passed courses of at least 180 credits that include
- at least 7,5 credits in the field of Defence, Crisis management and Security,
- written thesis project including of at least 15 credits,
and knowledge corresponding to English 6 (English B).

Course Content and Structure

The course gives the student the possibility to build knowledge about how Sweden and other countries organise and plan their long-term defence acquisition, innovation, supply of defence materiel and capability development. Defence acquisition is defined in the course as the processes that contribute to a national military being able to acquire or develop the defence systems, services and capabilities that the military requires. Such services are for example research, procurement, development and production of defence systems, possibilities to test and evaluate, understanding the international context, and international contacts and collaboration.
The course contributes to the student’s ability to understand and critically relate to how the Swedish defence acquisition is performed and which authorities and organizations that have certain roles in processes related to capability development and defence acquisition. The course aims to bring the student understanding of what the generic steps are for creating military capabilities, in order to themselves be able to participate in such processes.
Capability development also demands collaboration with other countries. The course therefore covers the importance and impact of for example defence industry, defence exports, defence materials collaborations, offset, the transfer of technologies, and international standardisation work.
The course is organized over four weekly themes. In the beginning of each week, there are lectures, and also guest lectures from companies and organizations that act within defence acquisition and capability development. Each such weekly theme ends with a seminar where written assignments coupled to the theme are discussed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  • Explain how capability development and defence acquisition is planned and performed in order to create capabilities in collaboration with national and international actors.

Competence and skills
  • Apply scientific theory in order to describe and analyse processes for defence acquisition, capability development and innovation for military purposes.
  • Identify and formulate relevant questions regarding what leads to a military capability.
  • Discuss theories and methods for studying the management of strategic capability development and defence acquisition.

Type of Instruction

Teaching is conducted as lectures, guest lectures, independent study and seminars.


Scope: 7.5 Higher education credit


Grades are set according to a three-grade scale: Pass with Distinction (VG), Pass (G) and Fail (U).
Criteria for grading are defined at the latest when the course commences.
A Pass (G) for the course requires approval of the four individual, weekly written assignments (1 credit per assignment), active and constructive participation in the seminars and a pass (G) for both the written assignment and written examination (3.5 credits).
A Pass with Distinction (VG) requires apart from the requirements for Pass (G). A pass with Distinction (VG) for the individual final exam.

Restrictions in Number of Examinations

No limit on the total number of examination opportunities.

Restrictions Concerning Degree

The course cannot be part of a degree whose content is wholly or partly in accordance with the content of this course.

Transitional Provisions

When the course is no longer offered, or when the content of a course has been significantly altered, the student/participant retains the right to be examined in accordance with this course syllabus once per semester during a three-semester period.


If a student has a decision from the Swedish Defence University stating the need for extra pedagogical support because of a functional disability, the examiner may decide on alternative examination forms for the student.
On the completion of the course, an evaluation will be conducted under the auspices of the course director, which will form the basis for potential changes of the course.

Reading List Strategic Management of Capability Development and Defence Acquisition

Course Code:

Literature list

**T1 Capability development and defence acquisition: Fundamental concepts and conditions
Breitenbauch & Jakobsson (2018), “Defence planning as strategic fact: introduction”, Defence Studies, 18:3, 253-261
Hall, Peter; Hall & Wylie et al (2010). ”Government policy: defence procurement and defence industry”, in: Markowski, Stefan et al (eds.), Defence Procurement and Industry Policy – A small country perspective, Introduction + Ch 1, 2 & 5, Routledge, New York (e-book)
Hall, Peter et al (2010). ”Government policy: defence procurement and defence industry”, in: Markowski, Stefan et al (eds.), Defence Procurement and Industry Policy – A small country perspective, pp. 153-184, Routledge, New York (e-book)
Lundmark, Martin (2011), Transatlantic Defence Industry Integration – discourse and action in the organizational field of the defence market, (doktorsavhandling), EFI, Handelshögskolan i Stockholm (parts of)
Lundmark, Martin (2019), The Swedish Defence Industry – drawn between globalization and the domestic pendulum of doctrine and governance, in: Belin & Hartley (eds), Routledge, New York
T2 Internationalization
Bellais & Fiott (2017), “The European defense market: Disruptive innovation and market destabilization”, The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 12 No. 1 2017, pp. 37-45
Bitzinger, Richard (1994), “The Globalization of the Arms Industry: The Next Proliferation Challenge”, International Security, Volume 19, Number 2, Fall 1994
Bitzinger, R. (2016), “Defense Industries in Asia and the Technonationalist Impulse”, Contemporary Security Policy, Blog post
Dunne, Sköns & Tian (2020), ”The Changing Economics of Global Arms Production”, PRISM Working Paper Series, Number 2020-22
Hartley, K. (2008), “Collaboration and European Defence Industrial Policy”, Defence and Peace Economics, 19:4, 303-315
Kurc & Bitzinger (2018), ”Defense industries in the 21st century. A comparative analysis – The second e-workshop”, Comparative Strategy, 37.4, 255-259
Lundmark, M. (2019), “The Swedish Defence Industry – drawn between globalization and the domestic pendulum of doctrine and governance”, in: Belin & Hartley (eds.), The Economics of the Global Defence Industry, Routledge, New York (e-book)
Lundmark, M. (2017), Conditions and success factors for companies in international arms collaboration, Conference paper, Saint Andrews University (Chapter 1-4)
T3 Capability development
Arteaga et al (2016), ”Appropriate level of European strategic autonomy”, ARES Report #8, ARES, Paris
Axelson & Lundmark (2010), Industrial effects of direct military offset in defence materiel export, FOI
Correia (2019), “Military Capabilities and the Strategic Planning Conundrum”, Security and Defence Quarterly, June 2019, Volume 24, Number 2
DeVore, Marc (2019), ”Armaments after autonomy. Military adaptation and the drive for domestic defence industries”, Journal of Strategic Studies,
Hayward, Keith (2009), ”The Globalisation of Defense Industries”, in: The Modern Defense Industry, pp. 95-106, Praeger Security International, Santa Barbara
Moravczik, A. (1991), ”Arms and Autarky in Modern European History”, The MIT Press
Spiegeleire (2011), “Ten Trends in Capability Planning for Defence and Security”, The RUSI Journal, 156:5, 20-28
Zandee (2017), Developing European Defence Capabilities – Bringing order into disorder, Clingendael Report, Clingendael
T4 Innovation, technology development, technology forecast
Amabile, T. “How to kill creativity”, Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1998
Department of Defence, 2016, Third Offset Strategy
Gholz, E., James, A., Speller, T. (2018), “The second face of systems integration: An empirical analysis of supply chains to complex product systems”, in. Research Policy, 47, pp. 1478-1494
Maidique, M.A. and Patch, P. (1988), "Corporate Strategy and Technological Policy", in Tushman, M.L. and Moore, W.L. (eds) (1988), Readings in the Management of Innovation, 2nd ed, Ballinger, pp. 236-248
Lundmark, Martin (2016), CMTC Policy Renewal, FOI [pp. 11-30)
Lundmark et al (2019), Technology Forecast 2019, Swedish Defence University
Posner & Mangelsdorf, “12 Essential Innovation insights”, Sloan Management Review, Fall 2017
Ross, Andrew (2016), “The Potential Import of New, Emerging and Over-the-Horizon Technologies”, in: Bitzinger, Richard (red), Emerging Critical Technologies and Security in the Asia Pacific, s. 22-36, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Added to these texts above, other links, shorter texts and documents will be added.