This essay offers a number of propositions about the size, pace, and distribution of defense cutbacks and about the conversion of military resources to civilian purposes. We argue that the prospects for a peace dividend in the aftermath of the cold war are clouded by substantial political incentives and economic interests that may oppose or retard military retrenchment. We also contend that the resource savings from any military retrenchment may not neces-sarily be reallocated fully and efficiently to produce gains in civilian production and productivity. Such gains are apt to take some time to materialize whereas the political costs and socio-economic disruption caused by lower military expenditures are likely to be felt more immediately. Indeed, given their different social institutions, political cultures, and economic structures, different coun-tries may be expected to pursue alternative policy offsets that accompany any defense cutback, and they may be expected to encounter different conversion problems and derive different costs and benefits from efforts to convert swords into plowshares. We conclude with an agenda for future research.
Chan, S. and Sommer, H. (1996), "Swords into plowshares: some propositions on the prospects of peace dividend", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 70-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-08-01-1996-B004Download as .RIS
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