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NewsNotes
June 2003

 
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*Judith Blau, a long-time ECAAR member, recently submitted the following
letter to The Nation:

If Sociologists Made Foreign Policy
By late March the US Chapter of Sociologists and Political Scientists without Borders (SOCPOLSF) obtained nearly 800 signatures from members of the American Sociological Association on a petition urging that the Association call for an immediate end to the US invasion of Iraq. This is sufficient - according to the Association's bylaws requiring 3% of eligible members on a petition - to refer it, as a resolution, to the entire membership. The Association has nearly 9,600 members. Voting was carried out in late May and early June, as part of the regular spring election of officers. On 15 June it was announced that two-thirds voted in support of the resolution calling for the American Sociological Association to take a position opposed to the war. With the exception of Economists Allied for Arms Reduction (ECAAR), I know of no other US academic association to have taken a position against the war.

*United for a Fair Economy has produced a workshop, "War and the Economy," that examines how a wartime economy exacerbates the states' budget crises and the racial economic divide in the US. This workshop doesn't focus only on the conflict with Iraq; it looks at militarism as a fundamental force in our economy. United for a Fair Economy's (UFE) mission is to spotlight growing economic inequality and provide resources to inspire and support organizing. The short, factual, interactive workshop that can be downloaded for free from their website:
http://www.FairEconomy.org/econ/workshops/war_and_economy.html.

The workshop is about economic inequality, not about the morality of war and militarism. It discusses a cycle of concentrated wealth and concentrated power in the U.S. intensified by the emphasis on militarism. Workshop goals are to explore the impact of militarism on the U.S. economy; to examine the impact of war and militarism from race, gender, and class perspectives; and to demonstrate that war and militarism drain resources from basic family and community needs in general and from addressing the state budget crises in particular.

Several organizations including the National Priorities Project, the Center for Popular Economics and Pax Christi are teaching this workshop. In addition, United for a Fair Economy has about 350 active volunteer trainers available to lead or co-lead this workshop working with labor, religious, and community organizations. Distribution of this workshop is reaching thousands of people, equipping them with figures and concepts to use to discuss and analyze US military and economic policy.

*Fueling Poverty - Oil, War and Corruption. Iraq, Angola, Kazakhstan and other states have vast oil reserves, but revenue from these reserves rarely improves the lives of their impoverished and battle-weary citizens. A Christian Aid report argues that oil is more of a curse than a blessing for the world's poorest people.
http://www.christianaid.org.uk/indepth/0305cawreport/fuellingpoverty.htm

*One Kilo of Rice = One Bullet in Indonesia. This is what the economics of the war in Mindanao amounts to. Read the story from the Mindanao bureau of Philippine Daily Inquirer:
http://www.codewan.com.ph/hrnow/monitor/m2000_0526_10.htm

*"My big brother was a soldier man but he died. He told me to fight because when you soldier you can get money." Child soldiers are becoming more common again in Liberia, as fighting intensifies in the 14 year old civil war. A report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs describes the situation: "Boakai, who looks to be less than 10, is one of these [soldiers]. Smoking a cigarette as he cradles an AK-47 automatic rifle in his arms, he is now part of the forces guarding rundown Monrovia, where water and electricity are scarce and civil servants have not been paid for months." The report tells of many reasons that children as young as 9 are becoming soldiers. Some are "conscripted" but others choose to join up to avenge their relatives killed in the fighting, or hope for a better economic situation. Read the full story at:
http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=34608&SelectRegion=West_Africa&S
electCountry=LIBERIA

*The Center for Popular Economics has a webpage called, "Econ-Atrocity Bulletins." Recent items include: War Profiteering Starts at the Top, The Fiscal Crisis of the States, Fair Trade, Not Free Trade, and An Hour of War: A Tradeoff Analysis. Visit their website at http://www.fguide.org/atrocity.htm for more info.

*CALL FOR PAPERS: An International Conference on Conflict, Peace and Development in South Asia will be held at Colombo, Sri Lanka on January 8-10,2004. Although the focus of the meeting will be on political, ethnic, religious and regional conflicts within and between countries in South Asia,
theoretical papers related to Peace Economics and Peace Science; environmental, resource and conflicting issues in health care; and development in general are also welcome. For details and registration contact Professor Manas Chatterji, Binghamton University, tel: (607)777-2475, mchatter@binghamton.edu

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*REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS*
*The Social Science Research Council ( http://www.ssrc.org/ ) Program in Applied Economics (PAE) has announced a new funding opportunity for graduate students working in the area of Development and Risk in the context of economic development. The grant program is designed to support new research into questions of risk and uncertainty in economic contexts. The program encourages both interdisciplinary and international perspectives, with an aim to create a better understanding of the way that individuals, institutions, and policymakers perceive and respond to situations of uncertainty.

*The Foundation Center has a section of their website that lists grant opportunities, separated into 17 categories. Foundations interested in funding international affairs and development projects can be found at http://www.fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/cat_international.jhtml, which includes several listings that ECAAR members might find apropos.
http://www.fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/cat_soc_science.jhtml has listings for social science projects.


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*ECAAR PUBLICATIONS*

* The ECAAR Review 2003. This year's edition is titled, "Conflict or
Development?" and has a regional focus on Africa, the site of most of the
world's current armed conflicts. In its pages some of the leading
economists of the day analyze and reflect on the relationships among
military spending, domestic and foreign policy, security, and human welfare.
Features include country studies and sections on business and conflict and
"Trends in World Military Expenditure." Written in clear English, with
informative maps, tables, and graphs, the series is designed to inform the
debate among policymakers, activists, journalists, academics, students, and
citizens worldwide.

*You can order the Review at http://www.ecaar.org/Review_files/order.htm

*We believe the Review can be a valuable teaching tool in economics,
political science, and international relations courses. If you are
interested in teaching this book, please contact Kate Cell
(Katecell@ecaar.org)for a copy to review.


* "The Full Cost of Ballistic Missile Defense." The study estimates that
the total life-cycle cost for a layered missile defense system could reach
$1.2 trillion through 2035.
*You can order a copy of the report from the
http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/nmd/fullcost.html co-sponsor of the study,
or download a PDF file from http://www.ecaar.org/index.htm.

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*ACTION CORNER*

*As part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (S.
1050) the Senate is considering repealing current law banning the
development of new nuclear weapons. To tell your Senators how you feel
about this possibility or to read the bill itself, go to www.senate.gov.

*ECAAR seeks members interested in responding to one of a series of surveys.
The results will be used to prepare a concise communicators' handbook for
promoting responsible, effective U.S. global leadership. Questionnaires on
Weapons of Mass Destruction, Energy Policy, Global Development, and the US
Global Role are available at http://www.ecaar.org/RBF/survey.htm. For more
information, contact Kate Cell at katecell@ecaar.org.

*Anyone who would be willing to put an ECAAR fler up on a departmental
bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey, Development
Manager at theaharvey@ecaar.org.

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We would like News Notes to be a way for ECAAR members and our community to
keep in touch. In future issues we will include, if you send them to us,
notices on events and publications that you are involved with.
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*UPCOMING EVENTS*

*June 26th to 28, 2003: the Seventh Annual International Conference on
Economics and Security, sponsored by ECAAR-UK at the University of the West
of England, Bristol, UK.
http://carecon.org.uk/Conferences/Conf2003/CONF2003.html

*July 8-9 2003. 5th Annual Conference of the Association of Heterodox
Economics, Nottingham Trent University, UK

All economists are encouraged to come together and hear a diversity of
papers on topics not well represented in mainstream economics. Papers from a
plurality of perspectives and topic areas are encouraged. For more info
visit: http://hetecon.com/ or email: Veronica.Forster@ntu.ac.uk

*July 13, 2003. Nuclear Weapons: Science and Policy, Washington, DC.
Sponsored by Student Pugwash USA. Keynote Speaker: Sir Joseph Rotblat, 1995 Nobel Peace laureate and co-founder of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, will speak on post-Hiroshima campaigns by scientists to prevent the future use of nuclear weapons.
http://www.spusa.org/events/index.html

*August 3 - 9, 2003, 25th Annual Summer Institutes, Smith College Northampton, MA.
The Summer Institute is a week-long intensive training in economics for activists, educators, and anyone who wants a better understanding of economics. We focus on how economic systems impact our lives and work every day. NO BACKGROUND IN ECONOMICS IS REQUIRED.
Special Track for 2003: "Anti-War Economics for Activists" For info contact: The Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785, Amherst, MA 01004 (413) 545-0743
email: programs@populareconomics.org, website: http://populareconomics.org/

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