• Judith Holdren
  • Judith Reppy


The sudden end of the Cold War in 1989–91 brought widespread expectations of a ‘peace dividend’ to be reaped from the redirection of economic resources that until then had been devoted to the massive military establishments, in both East and West, spawned by four decades of confrontation. The peace dividend was expected to arise in two ways: reductions in military spending overall (which would allow governments to increase spending on social programs, or to reduce deficits and pay down debt, or to decrease taxes and thereby stimulate increased economic activity in the private sector); and from the ‘conversion’ of resources with high economic leverage to the pursuit of increased quantity, quality, and variety of civilian goods and services and hence improved quality of life. These resources included specifically the productive capacities of high-technology defense-oriented firms and the inventiveness of defense-oriented research-and-development (R&D) establishments.


Military Spending Civilian Sector Military Sector Military Budget Defense Contractor 
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  1. 2.
    See, e.g., National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    In the large literature of this subject, see, e.g., U.S. Congressional Budget Office, Federal Support for High-Technology Industries (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985);Google Scholar
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  12. 6.
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  13. 7.
    For example, while Japan, West Germany, and the United States spent similar fractions of their 1990 GDPs on R&D - 3.1 per cent, 2.8 per cent, and 2.7 per cent, respectively - the United States was at a substantial disadvantage in the percentage of GDP spent on nondefense R&D: 1.9 per cent, versus 2.7 per cent for Germany and 3.0 per cent for Japan. See National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992).Google Scholar
  14. 8.
    In the 1990 U.S. military budget, for example, the procurement account was some $80 billion and the operation and maintenance account nearly $90 billion, compared to $40 billion in the R&D account. See, e.g., Department of Commerce, Statistical Abstract of the United States 1994 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994). Note that these proportions vary drastically among countries owing to differences in policies, economic circumstances, and accounting conventions.Google Scholar
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    Of course, the admission of the nuclear-weapon states that they do not foresee any end to their asserted need to maintain nuclear-weapon stockpiles and nuclear-weapon-design capabilities is highly problematic in the context of nonproliferation policy. For an extensive discussion of the difficulties created by this contradiction, see, e.g., Joseph Rotblat, Jack Steinberger, and Bhalchandra Udgaonkar, eds., A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Desirable? Feasible? (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993).Google Scholar
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    National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources 1994 (NSF 95–304, Arlington, VA, 1995), p. 87;Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Holdren
  • Judith Reppy

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