Calendar

Oct
29
Mon
Jacob Shapiro @ National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
Oct 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Jacob Shapiro @ National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism | College Park | Maryland | United States

How a new understanding of warfare can help the military fight today’s conflicts more effectively

The way wars are fought has changed starkly over the past sixty years. International military campaigns used to play out between large armies at central fronts. Today’s conflicts find major powers facing rebel insurgencies that deploy elusive methods, from improvised explosives to terrorist attacks. Small Wars, Big Data presents a transformative understanding of these contemporary confrontations and how they should be fought. The authors show that a revolution in the study of conflict–enabled by vast data, rich qualitative evidence, and modern methods—yields new insights into terrorism, civil wars, and foreign interventions. Modern warfare is not about struggles over territory but over people; civilians—and the information they might choose to provide—can turn the tide at critical junctures.

The authors draw practical lessons from the past two decades of conflict in locations ranging from Latin America and the Middle East to Central and Southeast Asia. Building an information-centric understanding of insurgencies, the authors examine the relationships between rebels, the government, and civilians. This approach serves as a springboard for exploring other aspects of modern conflict, including the suppression of rebel activity, the role of mobile communications networks, the links between aid and violence, and why conventional military methods might provide short-term success but undermine lasting peace. Ultimately the authors show how the stronger side can almost always win the villages, but why that does not guarantee winning the war. 

Small Wars, Big Data provides groundbreaking perspectives for how small wars can be better strategized and favorably won to the benefit of the local population.

Eli Berman is chair of economics at the University of California, San Diego, and research director for international security studies at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Joseph H. Felter is a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. Jacob N. Shapirois professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. Felter and Shapiro codirect the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

Oct
31
Wed
Daniel Cohen @ Albertine Festival
Oct 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Daniel Cohen @ Albertine Festival | New York | New York | United States

Why society’s expectation of economic growth is no longer realistic

Economic growth–and the hope of better things to come—is the religion of the modern world. Yet its prospects have become bleak, with crashes following booms in an endless cycle. In the United States, eighty percent of the population has seen no increase in purchasing power over the last thirty years and the situation is not much better elsewhere. The Infinite Desire for Growthspotlights the obsession with wanting more, and the global tensions that have arisen as a result. Amid finite resources, increasing populations, environmental degradation, and political unrest, the quest for new social and individual goals has never been so critical.

Leading economist Daniel Cohen provides a whirlwind tour of the history of economic growth, from the early days of civilization to modern times, underscoring what is so unsettling today. The new digital economy is establishing a “zero-cost” production model, inexpensive software is taking over basic tasks, and years of exploiting the natural world have begun to backfire with deadly consequences. Working hard no longer guarantees social inclusion or income. Drawing on economics, anthropology, and psychology, and thinkers ranging from Rousseau to Keynes and Easterlin, Cohen examines how a future less dependent on material gain might be considered and, how, in a culture of competition, individual desires might be better attuned to the greater needs of society.

At a time when wanting what we haven’t got has become an obsession, The Infinite Desire for Growth explores the ways we might reinvent, for the twenty-first century, the old ideal of social progress.

Daniel Cohen is director of the Economics Department at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a founding member of the Paris School of Economics. A former adviser to the World Bank, Cohen was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2001. His many books include Globalization and Its Enemies and The Prosperity of Vice.