Resources Studies

Move the nuclear weapons money: A handbook for civil society and legislators

By IPB, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and World Future Council (WFC)


Over the next 10 years, governments will spend a staggering $1 trillion on nuclear weapons globally. That’s $100 billion annually. Against the backdrop of increasing austerity and cuts in social spending, such allocations appear not only exorbitant, but also counter to the economic and social needs of the nuclear-armed States. Anti-nuclear activists and other civil society leaders need to join forces with progressive legislators and anti-nuclear governments to reduce the lobbying power of the nuclear weapons corporations, and to 'move the nuclear money’ to social and environmental programs. 


IPB Study by Research & Publications Intern Lea Perekrests. The paper looks into whether or not investing in UN peacekeeping is a beneficial deal for the advancement of peace. It reviews the facts, definitions, decision-making procedures, funding processes, allocation of funds for missions and the reforms that are currently being discussed. Perekrests concludes that if the new proposals are adopted, peacekeeping operations could be a highly effective and more cost-efficient way of supporting peace. The study is based on an original text by Roberta Daveri.


Chapter by IPB Co-President Ingeborg Breines in a volume, PAX, to be published early December 2015 by the University of Helsinki.

Some 75 million people signed the UNESCO Manifesto on a Culture of Peace, thereby showing both their desire for a world without war and accepting to contribute to fostering a culture of peace, on different levels and at different scales. Many, even most people, have this wish to contribute to finding non-violent solutions to conflicts without using force, unfair methods and violence, be it on a family level, a local level or on national or international levels....Major religions all have their Paradise or Shangri La and major political movements such as communism or socialism have had/have their guiding vision of an ideal society. A number of philosophers, including Plato and Rousseau, have concretized how this can be done in practical terms. People have migrated and continue to do so in the search of a new land and a better life.


By Julina Canga, Research Intern, January 2015


This paper presents a comparative study of military spending of Nordic Countries with a focus on: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. This region is chosen to fulfil the interest of the International Peace Bureau in regional studies and because the Nordic region has maintained a long lasting peace in a historical perspective. The Nordic region is an important region to consider as a model of unity in peace terms. The following three indicators are used to determine military spending trends: (1) military spending in absolute figures (US$) using data from SIPRI and (2) military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) (3) military spending as a percentage of government expenditure.  

Military Spending in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

By Malte Albrecht and Eva Steketee, Research Interns. August 2014. 18pp PDF.



This paper argues that one of the most disturbing aspects of the crisis in Ukraine is the increasing pressure on all governments in the region to increase their military spending. This pressure comes both from below (fears of the 'other side') and from outside (NATO's 2% spending target, Russia's re-assertion of its influence on former satellites). In IPB’s view, militarism is the wrong solution. The current arms build-up on all sides will only lead to increased polarisation between Russia and the West, and aggravates the potential for a dangerous armed conflict. Security cannot be attained through policies of military deterrence and intervention - only through diplomatic efforts to peacefully and democratically defuse the tensions and reverse the arms build-up.


Post-2015 Development Agenda Peace and Disarmament: Comments from IPB

IPB, July 2014


The intensive international debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda continues as the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG) has recently finalised the drafting of the outcome document with a proposed list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This IPB Discussion Paper highlights the urgent need for the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on peace and for targets on worldwide disarmament and the reduction of excessive military spending.

targeting military spending: Disarmament, Development and the Post-15 Development Agenda

By Allison Chandler and Colin Archer, September 2013


A major debate is underway concerning the future of the worldwide development agenda. The Millenium Development Goals will expire in 2015, to be replaced by
the Post-2015 Development Agenda (or Sustainable Development Goals). This Discussion Paper gives an overview of how participating in these discussions can provide a wonderful opportunity for the International Peace Bureau to help shape development policy for the next 15 years and to advance our work on military spending.
By David Hay Edie, September 2013

While indicators suggest that some Western countries are reducing their military expenditure, the Middle East and North African region is by contrast experiencing an unprecedented increase. This discussion paper looks at the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a strategic region where we see this trend at work.

Alternatives to military intervention - A brief overview of the literature

By Aude Feltz, July 2013

When discussing military intervention, authors usually argue that there cannot be only two solutions, namely military intervention or no intervention at all. The thought that ideally relief operations and diplomatic interventions should be done earlier and better because situations like genocide, or mass killing do not happen overnight is often presented. But this usually remains an idea, and military intervention is still presented as a valuable tool to remedy an extreme situation. In 'Alternatives to military intervention', Aude Feltz presents discuss some alternatives to military intervention by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different non-military intervention methods. The aim is to highlight how these tools could be improved, and further developed in order to be effective alternatives to military intervention.

ROUGH SEAS AHEAD? A study of resource conflict in the South China Sea

By Pranati Mehtha, January 2013


ROUGH SEAS AHEAD? A study of resource conflict in the South China Sea and its relationship to the rising military budgets in Asia-Pacific (30 pp.) is the latest in our series of studies looking at the geo-political context of military expenditure. The paper looks at the origins and background to the various disputes in the region, and the interests/claims of the various contending states, including the USA. The case is made for a solution through international law rather than increasing the risk of military confrontation. 

What does development cost?

IPB, 2011

The brochure (18 pp.)  What does development cost? was a contribution to the planning for the first-ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS).


The greatest taboo in the development field is the silence regarding the cost of militarism. IPB advocates that governments need to recognise that excessive military budgets not only affect the security of people, they also offer an important set of resources, both financial and human, that could contributed to fulfill population's basic human needs.

Armed forces, civil society and democratic control: concepts and challenges

By Samuel Flückiger, 2008


This paper looks at how the control of the armed forces does and should take place in democratic societies, with a special focus on the role of civilians and civil society. It defines the concepts of civilian and civil society, presents the different components of the process leading to an armed forces intervention, namely security and defence policy, budgeting, procurement and command. The aim is to identify how democratic civilian control of the armed forces can best be exercised and at what stages.

A climate of war? Stopping the securitisation of global climate change

By Ben Buckland, 2007


In this paper, Buckland argues that while climate change is clearly a major threat to human security, it is unlikely to be a major cause of violent conflict.Therefore, securisation is an inappropriate response to climate change, which requires a political and not a military solution.

Climate change: a climate for peace or for conflict?

By David Hay-Edie, 2010


This paper looks at how military establishments are using the challenges of climate change to adapt their security strategies and institute new spending programmes. Often, as few offsetting reductions are made elsewhere in military budgets, overall military spending increases. Meanwhile, significant disarmament is stalled. The paper seeks to help make peace campaigners aware of this new dimension to militarism.


By Alicia Dueck, 2009


This booklet (20 pp.) provides general information on how the arms trade works, how it undermines development, and efforts by the international community to get it under control. It also explain how AT relates to IPB's Disarmament for Development programme and provides a detailed listing of organizations working on the arms trade.

Challenging militarisation

By David Hay-Edie, 2009


The initial drop in military spending after the end of the Cold War has not been sustained. Although the number of armed conflicts is diminishing, military expenditure is rising in almost all regions. The challenge to peace and disarmament campaigners is how to reverse this trend. This paper suggests ways of thinking about this challenge, and some paths for campaigners to pursue.

MDGs costings

By Alicia Dueck, 2009


IPB-estimations of the financial resources necessary to achieve the Millemium Development Goals.


By Nicola Winter,  August 2008


This paper aims at understanding why the largest, most obvious source of potential financial resources - military spending - continues to be ignored by governments. It. outlines a basic understanding of different aspects of development finance and the texts of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Monterrey Consensus (MC). It surveys the main players and the UN process, and then seeks to identify and analyses the obstacles within this framework that prevent the consideration of military expenditure as a potential financial source for development. Finally, it considers what can be done to change this.

Military intervention, aid, and governance in Afghanistan

By Kenneth Mostad, July 2008


This paper analyses the legal mechanisms, interim government, aid agencies and present military forces in place in the country, and shows how Afghans believe the situation can be improved.

New IPB publication: Unilateral Disarmament - a survey of national efforts by governments

Unilateral Disarmament: A Survey by the International Peace Bureau of national efforts by governments to promote general and complete disarmament outside multi-lateral frameworks. Oct. 2013

Unilateral Disarmament is the result of a questionnaire which was sent by the IPB in mid-2012 to 172 UN member states at their Geneva missions, seeking to determine what actions they are taking on their own initiative. It sought in particular to determine what actions were being taken regarding a national program of Disarmament Education; in what ways national authorities were working to reduce their military expenditures, and how those expenditures could be transferred to human development needs; and to determine where the decisions regarding disarmament were made in the responding state. Only a small number of states responded and the survey details and analyses their responses.

Human Security Post 2015 NPT Review Conference

Geneva. 19 June 2015.


The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is widely considered to be a cornerstone of international security. As is well known, in May 2015, its 191 states party failed to agree on an outcome at their five-yearly Review Conference in New York; in addition, the Iranian nuclear talks are at a critical juncture. In order to face these challenges, and others arising worldwide (such as ISIS-ISIL, Ukraine, Syria, cyber attacks,…) the international community has to find new ways to resolve dangerous conflicts.


Click here to see article!

Four key concept in implementing article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

By Bruce Abramson and Clara Didio, 2007


One important reason for the persistent gap between the CRC and its implementation is the failure of governments to allocate adequate resources for the realization of rights, in spite of their obligation to fulfill economic, social and cultural rights "to the maximum extent of their available resources", as set out in CRC Art. 4. As a matter of fact,  military spending takes a far greater share of both public spending and national income in most countries, thereby diverting huge resources from programmes for children and adolescents.

Reduction of military spending, greater fairness in budget allocations for young people, as well as more transparency and accountability in government expenditures, must all become major components of efforts to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Full text here.

Small Arms and Development

By Melina Heinrich, 2006


This study looks at the results of the UN Small Arms Review Conference in 2006 and their policy implications.

The military's impact on the environment

A neglected aspect of the sustainable development debate by David Hay-Edie and Colin Archer, 2002


This briefing-paper is intented as a resource to help integrate the military dimension into our collective efforts to confront the serious challenges of sustainable development.



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