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NewsNotes
September 2003

 


*ECAAR NEWS*

*"Will the Arms Deal be Cancelled? The government is dangerously close to having the arms deal cancelled, after ignoring court orders for a second time." An article, originally appearing in the Cape Times, details the latest developments in the ECAAR-South Africa suit against the government. On Friday, Sept. 12, ECAAR-SA filed a new motion giving the Department of Finance five days to comply with a court order to hand over documents or "face the possibility of the court barring them from defending the main court case."
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=6&art_id=vn20030917024031624C623621&set_id=1
For more history of the suit, see the list of related articles in the sidebar, and visit ECAAR-SA's website at http://www.ecaar.org/za/.

*ECAAR-Russia and ECAAR-US are co-hosting a workshop on "Inequality and Democratic Development" in Moscow, Russia, September 30 - October 1, 2003 at the Institute of International Economic and Political Studies. The workshop is sponsored in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The conference will include:
Tuesday, September 30
Opening address by Alexander Nekipelov, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences
Morning session papers:
- Alexey Sheviakov and Alexander Kiruta - Income inequality in Russia
- James Galbraith (co-authored with Ludmila Krytynskaia and Qifei Wang) -
The Experience of Rising Inequality in Russia and China during the Transition

Afternoon session papers:
- Ruslan Grinberg, Tatyana Chubarova - Inequality and Democratic Development in the Commonwealth of Independent States
- Stanislav Menshikov - Structural Problems of the Russian Economy and Means of their Solution
Questions and discussion
Wednesday, October 1
Morning session papers:
- Richard Kaufman - Proliferation, Preemption, and Nuclear War Fighting
- Ruslan Grinberg, Alexander Deikin - Political and Economic Independence of Mass Media
- Michael Intriligator - The Russian Economy: Still in Need of Structural Reform
Questions and discussion

Final session:
General conclusion and summary of findings
Workshop closure


*From TIME magazine's European edition, September 22, 2003: An IMF Report Card
Worldwide pressure has forced the International Monetary Fund to reform, argues Joseph E. Stiglitz, a leading IMF critic. But there's still a long way to go. http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901030922-485710,00.html

* On August 12, the day before President Bush met with economic advisors in Crawford, Texas, the Economic Policy Institute hosted a news conference call, in which Nobel laureates and other prominent economists "assessed the effectiveness of economic strategies being pursued by the Bush administration and analyzed the current state of the economy." The panelists were George Akerlof, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Robert M. Solow, Janet Yellen, Gene Sperling and Lee Price, moderated by Lawrence Mishel, President of the Economic Policy Institute. George Akerlof is unequivocal in his criticism of the Bush fiscal policy, calling it the worst in over 200 years, and projecting a deficit over the next 10 years of around $6 trillion. Other panelist agreed, and particularly criticized the tax cuts, stimulus packages and lack of job creation. Janet Yellen called the administration's policies "economically reckless." She believes that "escalating federal deficits and debt will have very negative long-term economic consequences." To read the entire transcript in PDF form, go to http://www.epinet.org/webfeatures/viewpoints/economy_transcript_20030812.pdf


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*LINKS*

*Long-time ECAAR member Polly Cleveland has drawn our attention to a provocative article. In her words:
"In 1972, economist Mason Gaffney wrote a conference volume chapter entitled 'The Benefits of Military Spending.' The editor refused it--it was too hot a topic in the Viet Nam war. Thirty years later, it is still a stunning, mind-bending piece, witty and biting--you can never think about 'defense' the same way again. It has just been posted to the Schalkenbach website, as 'The Triangle of Global Power; Multinational Corporations, Corrupt Dictators, and U.S. Military Power.'" http://www.schalkenbach.org/library/GaffneyGlobalntro.htm

*OMB Watch was formed in 1983 to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees regulation, the budget, information collection and dissemination, proposed legislation, testimony by agencies, and much more. OMB Watch is guided by the belief that improving access to our governmental decision-makers and energizing citizen participation will lead to a more just, equitable and accountable government, which will ultimately strengthen our civil society. To a large extent, they work with and through the nonprofit sector because of its vital place in our communities and their faith that the sector can play a powerful role in revitalizing our democratic principles.

This month the section on Non-profit Issues of their website includes an article that thoroughly examines the Patriot Act, its constitutionality, the organizations that have been closed down or had property seized as a result of the Act, and the legal challenges being brought against it.
The USA Patriot Act and its Impact on Nonprofit Organizations
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/1803/1/3/

*Human Media produces public radio programs "featuring voices of vision, conscience and compassion." They are currently working on a series called Beyond War. Part One asks what the brutality of modern warfare really means for soldiers and civilians. "We talk with patients in a veterans hospital, hear about the psychological effects of military training, consider the high rate of civilian casualties in modern war, and visit an arms exhibition to learn the medical consequences of today's weapons."
http://www.humanmedia.org/program_beyondwar1.php3


*The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an independent, non-profit, multinational organization, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict. Teams of political analysts are located within or close by countries at risk of outbreak, escalation or recurrence of violent conflict. Based on information and assessments from the field, ICG produces regular analytical reports containing practical recommendations targeted at key international decision-takers. ICG's reports and briefing papers are distributed widely to officials in foreign ministries and international organizations. ICG works closely with governments and those who influence them, including the media, to highlight its crisis analyses and to generate support for its policy prescriptions.
http://www.intl-crisis-group.org/default.cfm


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*IN OTHER NEWS*

*EAEPE 2003, The Information Society - Understanding Its Institutions Interdisciplinary

In the emerging Information Society intangibles are key factors in shaping the economic dynamic. These intangibles such as knowledge or social relations and the institutions that create and sustain them, therefore become center stage in analysis of the economy. .

This conference, sponsored by the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy, aims to analyze the institutions of the information society and welcomes scholars from all social sciences with an interest in understanding the economic significance, broadly conceived, of the information society.

The conference will address these and similar issues: How do organizations behave in an Information Society? How does the geography of an Information Society change, and how does that affect actors? Is the creation of knowledge and new technologies in an Information Society different from a Fordist society, if so how? Do the dynamics of certain sectors of the economy - such as the financial sector - change, again if so how? Are some economies more affected than others? What are the implications for less developed regions and countries; can they hope to catch up? Likewise, will excluded groups fall further behind? Or will an 'e-society' be an inclusive one?

The conference will be held at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration & MERIT / Infonomics, University of Maastricht, Tongersestraat 53, Maastricht, the Netherlands. November 7-10, 2003.
http://eaepe.infonomics.nl/

* A group of Burmese villagers are suing Unocal for its participation in a pipeline project, alleging human rights abuses inflicted on them by the local military in support of the project. Unocal is claiming that they are not responsible for the actions of the government and military of Myanmar/Burma. But defendants claim that the military was used to conscript workers, and to raze villages that were in the way of the project.

"In 2000, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the suit because Unocal did not directly participate in the alleged abuses, though the judge said there was evidence Unocal knew that forced labor was being used and that it benefited the project.

But in September, a three-judge appeals panel reversed the lower court, ruling there was enough evidence for a 'reasonable factfinder' to conclude that Unocal may be liable for 'aiding and abetting' the military in forced labor, murder and rape, under a theory that hiring soldiers for security and providing maps and information in daily meetings constitutes assistance. Unocal disputes that the evidence warrants such a conclusion."

"Could it be that global capitalism might soon find its business relationships with brutal regimes -- and with allies of the United States -- being scrutinized by unpredictable American juries?"
To read the whole story in the Washington Post, please go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52385-2003Aug12.html

*Alternet looks at the lack of coverage of the wounded from the War in Iraq. "The war was televised and sold as a sanitized war with minimal US casualties," said John Stauber, co-author of the recently released book, "The Weapons of Mass Deception" ... Showing wounded soldiers and interviewing their families could be disastrous PR for Bush's war. I suspect the administration is doing all it can to prevent such stories unless they are stage-managed feel-good events like Saving Private [Jessica] Lynch."
Howard Rosenberg, the former television critic or the Los Angeles Times, suggested that the networks might hesitate to report on the wounded because they could be perceived as negative or downbeat. "Since 9/11, there is a general feeling among many media outlets that they need to stay away from anything that could be interpreted as disloyal to the country," Rosenberg told [the reporter].
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16767

*Madeline K. Albright: Bridges, Bombs, or Bluster? Article in the New York Times of August 19th, by the former Secretary of State, exploring the Bush Administrations choices in foreign policy, and offering some advice. http://www.nytimes.com/cfr/international/20030901FAESSAY82501_albright.html?
pagewanted=1

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*FUNDING and FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES*

*http://www.macfound.org/programs/gss/IPS.htm

*MacArthur Foundation Establishes Global Security Initiative
The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has pledged more than $50 million over the next six years for a new global effort aimed at reducing the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, the Associated Press reports.

To fill the gap left by the deaths or retirement of scientists who were involved in the early development of nuclear weapons in the United States, the foundation's new Science, Technology and Security Initiative will help create tenured faculty positions for scientists and engineers in research universities across the country, as well as establish one hundred positions for mid-career scientists and post-doctoral students engaged in international security research. The initiative is especially timely because, said foundation president Jonathan F. Fanton, "The number of specialists conducting independent research and analysis on weapons of mass destruction has decreased markedly, even as the threat of terrorism has grown."

*The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship was established in 1987 to provide college graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the Fellowship's Board of Directors selects a group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington. Supported by a monthly stipend, the Fellows serve as full-time project assistants at the participating organization of their choice. In the Program's first seventeen years, ninety-two fellowships have been awarded.
http://www.clw.org/scoville/

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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 co-sponsor of the study at http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/nmd/fullcost.html, or download the PDF file from http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/nmd/fullcost.pdf.

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*ACTION CORNER*

*At least 3.5 million people have died over the last four and a half years as a result of the war in the DRC and there are recent reports of large-scale massacres in the province of Ituri. It is essential that efforts to ensure peace focus on cutting links between armed militias in the DRC and governments of neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Uganda. Contact your Member of Congress to call on the Bush Administration to urge the governments of Uganda and Rwanda to cease all support to militia groups in the DRC. Through this Amnesty International website you can send an email letter to your Representatives and Senators: http://us.oneworld.net/external/?url=http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/dr_congo/index.do

*Anyone who would be willing to put an ECAAR flyer 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. 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*

*September 30-October 1, 2003. ECAAR-Russia hosts a workshop on "Inequality and Democratic Development" in Moscow. See item above for full details.

*October 25, 2003: "Global Conflict or Human Scale Development?," 25th Anniversary of the Bristol Schumacher Lectures:
Natural Governance: Michael Meacher, Minister of State for the Environment May '97 - June '03.
Real World Economics: Ann Pettifor, Director at the New Economics Foundation.
The Science of Understanding: Peter Russell, Cosmologist and Author
More details at: http://www.schumacher.org.uk/bristol_schumacher_lectures_03.htm, or contact the Schumacher UK Office, The Create Environment Centre,
Bristol BS1 6XN. Tel/Fax: 0117 903 1081, email: admin@schumacher.org.uk

*November 7-10, 2003. EAEPE 2003, The Information Society - Understanding Its Institutions Interdisciplinary. Conference at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration & MERIT / Infonomics, University of Maastricht, Tongersestraat 53, Maastricht, the Netherlands. http://eaepe.infonomics.nl/

*January 8-10,2004. An International Conference on Conflict, Peace and Development in South Asia will be held at Colombo, Sri Lanka. 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,
email: mchatter@binghamton.edu

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