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March 2016



Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.

 ~Hafsat Abiola



Table of Contents
EPS News
In Other News
EPS Publications
Action Corner
Upcoming Events
How Can I Help?


EPS News


Disarm! For a Climate of Peace - Creating an Action Agenda
IPB World Congress 2016 on Military and Social Spending

September 30 – October 3, 2016 Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany

In 2014 the world’s governments spent over $1,700 billion on the military sector. The Congress organizers believe this money must instead be spent on:

·         Climate change mitigation/adaptation, preserving biodiversity

·         Humanitarian programs to support the most vulnerable

·         Peace: disarmament, conflict prevention & resolution, human security

·         Public services/social justice, human rights, gender equality and green job-creation

·         Sustainable development, new production and consumption patterns, ante-poverty programs, UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We strongly believe the absolutely necessary ‘great transformation’ of global human society can only be achieved when also reallocating military expenditure and handling conflict differently. After all, we are facing ä crisis of civilization, which is more far-reaching than an ecological and economic crisis alone. We are living on one single Planet Earth but exploiting its resources as if We had three. We witness how our predominant economic and Developmental model has failed to provide justice, livelihood and human security for all. We now also face the resurgence of militarism and confrontational politics. Hence, we view this priority shift in government spending as one element in ä much broader global transformation towards ä green, socially just and peaceful society. The main aim of this congress is to bring the issue of military spending, often seen as a technical question, into broad public debate and to strengthen the global community of activism.

More information available here: 




20th Annual International Annual Conference on Economics and Security
 Twentieth International Annual Conference on Economics and Security will be held at TED University, Ankara, Turkey on June 16-17, 2016.
ICES welcomes presentations that address any issue relating to peace and security broadly defined. The conference strives for a multi-disciplinary program comprising contributions with a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, including strictly theoretical work, game theory and formal modeling, statistical and econometric analysis, qualitative studies, and experiments.
Abstracts (150-250 words) with a tentative title submitted before April 1, 2016 will be considered for the conference.
Further information on the organization of the conference will be available at: http://ices2016.tedu.edu.tr/en/ices2016/ 

For any further information about the conference, you can contact the organizers here: ices2016@tedu.edu.tr




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In Other News


Managing The Politics of Water
By Sundeep Waslekar for Project Syndicate, March 17, 2016

This year’s World Water Day, on March 22, provides an opportunity to highlight what in many countries has become a grim reality: The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs. Unless water resources are managed with extraordinary care, the consequences could be devastating.

Last year, the United Nations World Water Development Report once again highlighted how the growing gap between supply and demand could create conflict. The World Economic Forum has ranked water crises as the most worrying global threat, more dangerous than terrorist attacks or financial meltdowns, and more likely to occur than the use of weapons of mass destruction. And research by the Strategic Foresight Group has shown the importance of wise management: Countries engaged in the joint stewardship of water resources are exceedingly unlikely to go to war.

The Middle East serves as a tragic example of what can happen when regional cooperation is lacking. Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have fought over every cubic meter of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All have lost as a result. Non-state actors control important parts of the two river basins. And water shortages have aggravated the region’s refugee crisis (itself the apotheosis of poor governance).

Read the full article here:




Balanced Budget Amendment "Very Unsound Policy," Leading Economists Warn

By Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 16, 2016


A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution would be “very unsound policy” that wouldadversely affect the economy, a group of leading economists including four Nobel laureates explain in a letter today to President Obama and Congress, which the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities spearheaded.  Several constitutional amendments requiring a balanced budget have been introduced in Congress, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today on the issue.

“A balanced budget amendment would mandate perverse actions in the face of recessions,” the letter notes:

In economic downturns, tax revenues fall and some outlays, such as unemployment benefits, rise.  These built-in stabilizers increase the deficit but limit declines in after-tax income and purchasing power.  To keep the budget balanced every year would aggravate recessions.

A balanced budget amendment also would prevent federal borrowing to finance infrastructure,
education, research and development, environmental protection, and other vital investments.  Adding arbitrary caps on federal spending — which some balanced budget proposals include — would make the amendment even more problematic, the letter says.

Read the full article here:




Women Preventing Violent Extremism - Thought for Action Kit

Published: May 25, 2015 for United Institute of Peace

The Women Preventing Violent Extremism Thought for Action Kit is intended to engage discussions on key issues related to the role of women and preventing violent extremism (PVE). This document is for policy makers, practitioners and academics who are interested in understanding “why gender matters” in preventing violent extremism. We think of it as a thought kit more than a tool kit, that is— a collection of experts’ essays and practical exercises designed to help guide local activists and practitioners to engage in reflection and dialogue on violent extremism. In addition, we hope to bring greater awareness to the diverse set of experiences that women and women’s organizations are dealing with violent extremist ideologies.

Read more here:


EPS Publications


EPS Quarterly Volume 27 Issue 4 (December 2015)

The "Economics of Happiness" Issue

Happiness is a loaded word. Many scientists feel that happiness is too squishy. Ajit Zacharias of the Levy Institute, who helped develop the Measure of Economic Well-being, sent some thoughts on happiness, starting with this from Charlotte Bronte: “No mockery in this world ever sounds to me as hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted and tilled with manure.”


First of all, happiness is subjective. How can we measure it? Some rely on self-reported surveys. Others work with proxies that have been shown to correlate to happiness, wellbeing, or life satisfaction. We can improve methods of collecting self-reports on happiness, and we can study which proxies seem best to reflect happiness; and still, what makes me happy might make you miserable. It is very hard to make policy recommendations under such apparently arbitrary conditions. 

Table of Contents 

  • Happiness Becomes a Fundamental Human Right and Goal
    Jayme Illien
  • Letter from the Director
    Thea Harvey-Barratt
  • The Surprising Optimism of Black Americans
    Carol Graham
  • Does Money Buy Happiness?
    Mario Nunez 

Read the full Issue here



The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Volume 10, Number 2
(October 2015)

In addition to a four-article symposium on Afghanistan, this issue contains three stand-alone articles. The first two, respectively by Charles H. Anderton and by Sebastian Ille and Dina Mansour, both construct evoluationary game theory models to study the social evolution of violence and potential levers for intervention and the creation of peaceful environments. The third, by Uih Ran Lee, discusses the creation and application of a new dataset on the intentional targeting of civilians in war. The symposium on field research in Afghanistan is introduced by guest editor Travers B. Child and contains articles by Daniel Karrel, Greg Adams, Jan Koehler, Kristof Gosztonyi, Keith Child, and Basir Feda, and James Weir and Hekmatullah Azamy.
Table of Contents 

  • The social evolution of genocide across time and geographic space: Perspectives from evolutionary game theory
    Charles H. Anderton
  • Rational atrocities and state formation: A game theoretic approach to the case of ISIS
    Sebastian Ille, Dina Mansour
  • Hysteresis of targeting civilians in armed conflicts
    Uih Ran Lee
  • On the ground: Field research from Afghanistan
    Travers Barclay Child
  • Aid, power, and grievances: Lessons for war and peace from rural Afghanistan
    Daniel Karell
  • Honing the proper edge: CERP and the two-sided potential of military-led development in Afghanistan
  • Greg Adams
  • Toward mixed-methods impact evaluation: Making stabilization assessments work for development cooperation
    Jane Koehler, Kristof Gosztonyi, Keith Child, Basir Feda
  • Economic impediments to a Taliban peace process
    James Weir, Hekmatullah Azamy

The Journal is a peer-reviewed online publication hosted by EPS. Published twice yearly, it raises and debates 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 50% discount on the annual subscription to the Economics of Peace and Security Journal. A regular one-year subscription is $50; for EPS members, it's only $25!
For more information about the Journal or to subscribe: 

To become a member of EPS (and qualify for the subscription discount):


Action Corner


Support The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

This year, Congress could take positive steps on mass incarceration. New legislation, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, has broad bipartisan support in Congress. But in an election year this legislation will not be approved unless members of Congress hear from their constituents.

Senator Grassley (IA) and eleven bi-partisan co-sponsors introduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, S 2123, on October 1.  This bill is the product of negotiations among Senate Judiciary Committee members and with other keenly interested senators.  The bill takes an important major step toward restoring judging authority to judges, reducing mandatory minimum sentences and lowering the population of federal prisons.

Find out how you can take action on this issue here:



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Upcoming Events


·         June 20 - July 4, 2016 The 3rd International Summer School in Sarajevo and Srebrenica, Learning from the past - Exploring the Role of Transitional Justice in Rebuilding Trust in a Post-conflict Society will be held at The International University of Sarajevo (IUS).

More information available here:


·         June 29 - July 3, 2016 91st Annual Conference: The Western Economics Association International will be held in Portland, Oregon.

More information available here:


How Can I Help?


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