What We Do

EPS, a UN-registered NGO, is an international network of thirteen affiliated organizations promoting economic analysis and appropriate action for peace, security and the world economy. We seek a world whose people are secure, free from fear and want, where economies distribute goods and services efficiently and for the benefit of all. We work locally, regionally and internationally to reduce the military burden, and to effect policy changes that can build a more just and peaceful future.

  • Mission
  • History

Mission Statement

Whereas, we agree with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world; and everyone is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social, cultural and security rights indispensable for human dignity and the free development of personality; and

Whereas, war and violent conflict disrupt the social and economic fabric of societies and interfere with the well-being of individuals; and

Whereas, economic policies and institutions can either prevent or mitigate violence or can contribute to it; and

Whereas, we as professional economists believe that our discipline has a positive contribution to make to peace and human welfare;

Therefore, we seek:

  1. To create and promote a better understanding and a more friendly relationship between races, nations, and classes of people; to foster a desire for universal perpetual peace on the part of the several nations of the world; to promote the movement for world disarmament, nuclear disarmament, and a reduction in the stockpiling of weapons by all countries; to support efforts to create economic incentives for peaceful relations; to promote collective approaches to conflict and security problems; to encourage the submission of international disputes to negotiation, arbitration, judicial settlement, the United Nations or other multinational institutions for the settlement of controversies;
  2. To engage in programs of education, relating to the above purposes; to join in partnership with economists and others to increase public understanding and to educate policy makers and citizen advocates that nuclear and other weapons represent a threat to the existence of human life and civilization, and that disarmament and development are interdependent goals; and to promote greater understanding of the full range of economic causes, costs and consequences of violent conflict;
  3. To undertake rigorous economic analysis and to present just, peaceful policy alternatives; to organize meetings and seminars, publish articles, exchange opinions with scholars, and government and non-government representatives, and cooperate with like-minded organizations in other professions;
  4. To do any other act or thing incidental to or connected with the foregoing purpose or in advancement thereof, as permitted and authorized under the not-for-profit corporation law of the State of New York.

History of EPS

EPS was founded in 1989 as Economists Against the Arms Race (ECAAR). The founder, Dr. Robert J. Schwartz, was inspired at a Moscow conference held by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Dr. Schwartz returned to New York and began gathering together economists concerned about the nuclear danger.

Dr. Robert Eisner, one of the early advisors to Dr. Schwartz, recommended that the new organization recruit as many distinguished economists as possible, including Nobel laureates. The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1969; one of the first recipients, Jan Tinbergen, was a founding trustee. Other founding Nobel laureates were Wassily Leontief, Franco Modigliani, James Tobin, Kenneth Arrow, and Lawrence R. Klein. Drs. Arrow and Klein were the first Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors, and continue to provide leadership and guidance. Other founding trustees were John Kenneth Galbraith, Andrew Brimmer and Barbara Bergmann.

In 1993, following the end of the US-Soviet arms race, ECAAR became Economists Allied for Arms Reduction. The organization continued its interest in nuclear issues, working especially to analyze the costs of nuclear waste disposal, to support the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to expand its own network through the addition of affiliates around the world.

ECAAR received its NGO certification to two UN bodies, the Economic and Social Council and the Department of Public Information, in 1995. Nobel laureates continued to join our Board of Trustees, including Oscar Arias, Amartya Sen, Robert Solow, and Douglass North.

Dr. James K. Galbraith was recruited by the founding trustees to become Chair of the Board in 1996. Under his leadership ECAAR increased its presence in Washington, DC, undertook new research projects, and added affiliates. The Board of Trustees has continued to attract renowned economists, notably the Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof, William Sharpe, and Daniel McFadden.

ECAAR became EPS in January 2005. The new name was chosen to reflect the full range of concerns of its members and program, and the increasingly complex interrelationships among disarmament, development, security, conflict, war and peace.