With the end of the Cold War, many nations have set about cutting their military spending, and visions of a large "peace dividend" have emerged. Yet, even today, the arms race remains one of the major projects of humankind, and one of the most unproductive. This book charts a middle course between extravagant claims about the improvements in welfare, development and the environment to be funded by the peace dividend, and the dire assessments of how militarized economies would collapse as a result of disarmament, spiced with warnings that the peace dividend may have already been squandered. Based on a decade of studies, many carried out for the United Nations and its specialized agencies, this book breaks new ground in applying comprehensive models to examine the economic and environmental effects of disarmament at the global, national and local levels, with a primary focus on Norway. The authors also review the international literature on disarmament and conversion. Their findings are cautiously optimistic and of general relevance to all developed countries. The most important dividend of disarmament is peace itself, but some economic gains may also be achieved.
This is a detailed examination of the economic effects of conversion for any country and should be of interest to those working in the fields of international economics, peace studies and international studies.