Security, armaments and development in recipient countries of German arms exports

BICC has been receiving funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for research and consultancy on arms exports, militarisation and development in recipient countries of German arms exports since 2002. The project consists of five major components:

1) In the framework of this project, BICC compiles and updates a Database on overall 170 recipient countries. The database not only contains data on armament, the military, security, human rights and governance but also provides information on current and previous German arms exports to the respective countries. The database evaluates the correspondence of over 170 countries altogether to eight criteria of the EU Common Position for Arms Exports.

2)The BMZ, in particular, supports the generation and update of country and regional portraits of select recipient countries of German arms exports or regions undergoing special dynamics of military buildup. The portraits complement the database by depicting the situation in the respective countries or regions more closely and providing more detailed information.

3) The data compiled in the database and the country portraits further feed an interactive map that visualises the correspondence to the eight criteria of the EU’s common position on arms exports. Together, the database, the country and regional portraits as well as the interactive map, serve as a guidance for decision-makers and as critical source of information for academia and the broader public.

4) Besides these tools to support decision making and foster public discourse on German arms exports, the BMZ provides funding for research on global militarisation and problems of arms control. Via the Global Militarisation Index, BICC objectively depicts worldwide militarisation by measuring the allocation of resources within a state. The GMI thereby shows the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of that state in relation to its society as a whole. It represents one of the central elements of BICC’s academic research on arms exports and the armament–development nexus.

5) Within the new funding period (2021–2024), the portfolio will be extended by the new format of the thematic reports. These reports focus on upcoming problems at the interface between development policy and arms control. Based on field research in recipient countries, the thematic reports provide a solid basis for consultancy to address these challenges ahead.

Funded by


Duration of project

since 2002