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Security and defence policy documents: a new dataset

Security and defence policy documents have sparked academic interest since their publication has become a common international practice in the 1990s. Yet, broad comparisons across time and countries have been scarce. This article presents information from a new dataset on security and defence documents published by OECD countries. Specifically, we analyse what type of documents were published by each country between 1990 and 2019, which security concerns they identify, and what level of importance is given to different agendas of security and defence. The dataset reveals an unexpected level of diversity, including an apparent lack of a common framework even among countries belonging to NATO or the European Union. In terms of content, there was a recent recurrence of traditional security topics, along with the prominence of some newer ones. Overall, the documents reveal a surprising lack of consistency and completeness with regards to provisions for policy execution.