The pursuit of peace resembles the building of a great
cathedral. It is the work of a generation.
In concept it requires a master-architect; in execution,
the labors of many.
The Price of 9/11
by Joseph E. Stiglitz,
September 1, 2011
The September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Al Qaeda were
meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama
bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush’s response
to the attacks compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its
economy, and weakened its security.
The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks
was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely
unconnected to Al Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link.
That war of choice quickly became very expensive – orders of magnitude
beyond the $60 billion claimed at the beginning – as colossal
incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.
Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and
I calculated America’s war costs three years ago, the conservative
tally was $3-5 trillion. Since then, the costs have mounted further.
With almost 50% of returning troops eligible to receive some level of
disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’
medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and
health-care costs will total $600-900 billion. But the social costs,
reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent
years) and family breakups, are incalculable.
To read the full article, go
Military Spending: A Poor Job Creator
Fact Sheet by William D. Hartung, Arms & Security Project, September
Plans for cutting the federal deficit have raised an
important question: what impact would military spending reductions have
Contrary to the assertions of the arms industry,
maintaining military spending at the expense of other forms of federal
expenditures would actually result in a net loss of jobs. This is
because military spending is less effective at creating jobs than
virtually any other form of government activity.
See the entire fact sheet,
with supporting text and references, at
Crisis in the States and Cities: What Should Be Done?
An EPS Bernard Schwartz Symposium
States and cities face tax increases and sharp cuts in
vital public services, with likely harsh effects on economic activity
and competitiveness going forward.
This public symposium on April 12, organized by EPS,
discussed the budget crises faced by state and local governments
including cuts to social services and increasing taxes. Will budget
cuts help, as some claim or hurt, as others believe,
the economies of affected jurisdictions and the country?
The panelists presented action plans for a federal role,
including revenue sharing, and the possible federalization of Medicaid.
Crisis in the States and Cities: What Should Be Done? was hosted by
Economists for Peace and Security; Bernard Schwartz; and the New
For transcripts, video, and
photos of the event, go to
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Is it true that the condition of man is a condition of
The condition of man is a condition of war, wrote
17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. A quick glance through history
books and today’s news headlines certainly seems to support the
longstanding idea that humans by nature are aggressive, selfish and
But this view simply doesn’t fit with scientific facts,
write researchers featured in the new book “Origins of Altruism and
Cooperation” (Springer, 2011), edited by Robert W. Sussman,
PhD, and C. Robert Cloninger, MD. The book’s
authors argue that humans are naturally cooperative, altruistic and
social, only reverting to violence
when stressed, abused, neglected or mentally ill.
The book, which now is available, presents evidence
supporting this idea from a range of academic perspectives, including
anthropology, psychiatry, biology, sociology, religion, medicine and
“Cooperation isn’t just a byproduct of competition, or
something done only because both parties receive some benefit from the
partnership,” says Sussman, professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences.
“Rather, altruism and cooperation are inherent in primates, including
For more information about
the book “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation,” visit
In Other News
The Die-Hard Recession Heads Off the Charts
By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou,
for Truthout, September
"By 1970, the governments of the wealthy countries
began to take it for granted that they had truly discovered the secret
of cornucopia. Politicians of left and right alike believed that modern
economic policy was able to keep economies expanding very fast -- and
endlessly. That left only the congenial question of dividing up the new
wealth that was being steadily generated."
Those words, from a Washington Post editorial more than
twenty-five years ago, echoed the beliefs not only of politicians and
the press, but of mainstream economics professionals resistant to the
idea that growth in a market economy would ever stagnate over a
And some of the data did fit nicely. Through several
recessions and recoveries, inflation-adjusted GDP rose almost in tandem
with a line of predicted growth expectations. But in November 2007,
something changed. Real GDP dropped down from what was expected by more
than 11 percent, and, as this summer's data has shown, it hasn't
returned to its pre-recession trend.
The unusual slump has provoked a stream of commentary
that attempts to define the problem, but it hardly matters whether the
downturn is identified as the second dip of a 'double-dip' recession, a
continuation of the 'Great Recession', a fast-moving slowdown, a slow
nosedive, a long-term stall-out, or a confirmation that the economy has
entered a Japanese-style 'lost decade'. Growth during the 21st century
is following a different trend line than it did in the 20th, and
employment is also responding in new, different ways from earlier
post-World War II recessions.
Read the full article at
Empire of Chaos: How 9/11
Shaped the Politics of a Failing State
By Arun Gupta, September 9,
2011, for Alternet
The neoconservative ideas that shaped the war on terror
have evaporated as the United States is battered by an economic depression
that shows no end.
The events made my mind reel. The angry plumes of smoke,
office paper raining like confetti, tumbling windows flashing in the
sunlight. I could make out jumpers and watched a jet fighter whoosh by
the burning towers, bank and disappear. I thought, “This is like a
It upset me that my only way to comprehend the events
was to reference the Hollywood imaginarium.
But it was understandable. Where else would I have seen images
resembling the war in my backyard – collapsing skyscrapers, gigantic
fireballs and thousands of dead?
The need to make sense of the events of Sept. 11 – the
plot by al-Qaeda, four hijacked airliners, the demolished twin towers
and nearly 3,000 dead – is universal. It is why the state’s first task after
9/11 – before one bomb dropped, one soldier deployed – was to imprint
the “war on terror” on the collective American mindset.
Many of the ideas that have shaped the events and
policies of the first decade of the war on terror are right there:
American exceptionalism, they hate us for our
freedoms, capitalism will triumph, and this war will know no geographic
or temporal bounds.
These ideas were bundled into the “New American
Century,” the neoconservative dream to extend Pax
Americana indefinitely. Ten years later that dream has evaporated as
the United States is being battered by an economic depression that
shows no end. The only question appears to be how quickly America will
be eclipsed by China. So how did we get from the triumphalism of “mission
accomplished” to the twilight of American Empire?
To read the full article,
Call for Papers
To be published in the upcoming special issue
"Political Economy Studies on the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict" to be published on Peace Economics, Peace Science and
The special issue is intended to gather contributions
that focus on political economy aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. The contributions may highlight positive and/or normative
aspects of this conflict. Papers may make a theoretical or empirical
contribution to a better understanding of this conflict.
Please send papers and
inquiries to Esteban Klor
by September 30, 2011.
United States Institute of Peace is now hiring a program officer at the
Center for Conflict Managment
The Center for Conflict Management seeks a Program Officer
for Afghanistan Programs. This position is based at USIP’s Washington
DC headquarters, and will work closely with colleagues in the Kabul
field office, the CCM Afghan team, and others in the Academy, CoI, and Grants who work on Afghan related programs.
This position reports to the Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan
View the full job
description and qualification details at
Economics of Peace and
Security Journal Vol. 6, No 2 - On peace, war, and violence - is now available online
·Sterling Huang and David Throsby on economic, political,
social determinants of peace
·Alvaro Riascos and Juan
Vargas on violence and growth in
Pickering on the (supposed) bellicosity of “mountain people”
·Vincenzo Bove on the demand
and supply of peacekeeping
·John Gilbert, Tanigawa
Takahiko, Krit Linananda,
and Alongkorn Tuncharoenlarp
on the deadweight cost of war
·Zachary Tambudzai on
determinants of military expenditure in
The Journal is a peer-reviewed online publication hosted
by EPS-UK. Published twice yearly, it raises and debates all issues
related to the political economy of personal, communal, national,
international, and global peace and security. Previous contributors
include Joseph Stiglitz, James Galbraith, and
Lawrence Klein. The Journal’s website also features book reviews
submitted by members and subscribers.
EPS members receive a 25% discount on the annual subscription to the
Economics of Peace and Security Journal. A regular one-year
subscription is $40; for EPS members, it's only $30! Non-subscribers
can access the abstracts and contents pages.
information about the Journal or to subscribe:
a member of EPS (and to qualify for the subscription
The Annual Budget Issue
EPS Quarterly, March 2011
In this issue EPS takes on conservatives' and Tea
Partiers' loud cries for cuts in federal spending.
A self-described conservative and two libertarians join
their voices in two separate articles, asking for defense cuts along
with any other belt-tightening measures. To assist in sorting out the
defense budget and its relative merits, we include brief excerpts from
the new handbook-guide to the Defense Department, "The Pentagon
Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It," from the
Strauss Military Reform Project. This issue also contains several
pieces which examine the Obama administration’s policies and processes.
On the back cover is our Statement on Federal Spending and the
Recovery, released February 28.
Read this issue of EPS
End the Endless War
Help repeal legislation passed in the wake of September
11 that gave the president a blank check to fight war, to torture, to
launch drone attacks and much more.
Ask your representative to
cosponsor H.R.2859, which would repeal the Authorization for Use of
Military Force. H.R. 2859 was
introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), the only representative to vote
against the Authorization in 2001.
In September 2001, Congress rushed to provide the Bush
administration authority to wage a “war on terror.” The Authorization
for the Use of Military Force, passed by the House on September 14,
gave the president broad and open-ended power to carry out this “war”.
After ten years, the consequences of this legislation in the headlines
from Afghanistan and in the distrust with which the United States is
regarded. War is not the answer. It’s time to repeal this
Find out how you can help;
Get the word out on the
topics that matter most to you! The ACLU
has a tool that helps write and send letters to local papers. With such
a letter, you can help bring your message not only to your neighbors
but directly to the offices of your Members of Congress, where staffers
and our lawmakers themselves follow opinions
from home with an especially watchful eye.
list of media outlets by state, with tips on how to write a letter in
your own words plus talking points for the listed topics, see
Do you have a foreign policy
alternative that should be heard in the halls of government? Citizens for Global Solutions
provides an easy-to-use tool to find the foreign policy staffer
for your Member of Congress.
To access the Foreign Policy
Staffer Locator, go to
If you would like to post an EPS flyer on a
departmental bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- September 22 - 23, 2011.
Responsibility in Economics and Business and The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher Conference. The
conference will be hosted by the Center for Ethics, University of
Antwerp in collaboration with the Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University, Budapest,
Hungary. The conference is supported by the Fondation
Charles Léopold Mayer and Batiself.
more information, see
11 - 13, 2011. ICAPE's 3rd
international research conference: Re-thinking economics in a time
of economic distress will be held at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA.
The 2007-08 financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn have
raised many questions about how well prevailing economic
approaches identify and explain pressing economic problems and
suggest sound ways to solve them. Exploring what needs to change
in economics and identifying productive paths forward are the
central themes of The International Confederation of Associations
for Pluralism in Economics 3rd international research conference.
details about the conference are available at
- November 16, 2011. EPS benefit, an
evening with Dr. Alan Blinder.
Kathleen Stephansen and Andrew Racine
will host an evening at their home with special guest speaker Dr.
Alan Blinder. All proceeds will help further the work done at
further details about the event, please contact Thea Harvey at email@example.com.
- January 6 - 8, 2012. Annual
meetings of the Allied Social Sciences Association and American Economics Association in Chicago, IL.
EPS will present two sessions on Friday, January 6. The EPS
Dinner in honor of Robert J. Gordon will be held Saturday, January 7.
Please check for details and
updates soon on our website:
- January 13 - 14, 2012. EURASIAN PEACE
SCIENCE CONFERENCE at Koç
University in Istanbul, Turkey. The Conference's goals are to
broaden cooperation among Eurasian and Middle Eastern peace
science scholars, encourage interaction with the worldwide peace
science community, and bring together research on conflict and
peace-related topics from throughout the world.
more information, see
- March 9 - 11, 2012.
Eastern Economic Association 38th Annual Conference will
be held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA. The Eastern
Economic Association is a not-for-profit corporation whose object
is to promote educational and scholarly exchange on economic
affairs. Towards that end, the Association encourages the freedom
of research and discussion.
information about the conference is available at
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