Newsletter of the Peace, War, & Social Conflict Section
One objective indicator of the fiuitfulness of their efforts arrived today from the ASA. Our official final membership count for 1998 stands at 274. That's a 16.6% increase over last year, the largest increase reported by any of ASA's 38 sections. But we can't afford to rest on our laurels. We are supposed to reach the 300 member level by next year's census date (9/30199). I suggest we aim for 320 members, a rate of increase consistent with last year's gain. In order to reach that goal, each of you will need to do two things: (1) renew your Peace, War and Social Conflict Section membership when you send in your ASA renewal, and (2) recruit at least one or two new members. We have found that our recruitnent efforts are most successful when we hand prospective new members a section membership form. We have included a form on the last page of the newsletter. Feel free to reproduce the form.
You will also note in this issue that preparations for the Section's activities at the 1999 ASA meetings in Chicago (August 6-10) are already well under way. The bulk of our session activities will be held on the first day of the meetings. The deadline for paper submissions is January 10, 1999. So, get cranking on those papers and submit them to the session organizers listed below.
Finally, please encourage your undergraduate and graduate students to vvrite papers and to enter them in the Elise M. Boulding student paper competition. Students wishing to enter should submit 5 copies of their papers by April 1, 1 999 to Joseph Elder, Department of Sociology, 1180 Observatory Drive, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
I look forward to working with you throughout the ensuing year. Please feel free to contact me via phone, mail, or e-mail to share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and/or concerns.
To mark the Section's 20th Anniversary, Mary Anna Colwell asked members to discuss the founding of the section, their own involvement, any special memories, or their current work. Several [in some cases abbreviated] statements are reprinted below. Original versions of these and other statements can be found on the Section web page.
Iraqi Crisis Calls for Creative Solutions
The ongoing issue of what to do about Iraq presents peace researchers and activists with an opportunity to fashion creative responses that not only serve the cause of peace but also further human rights. The alternative is to continue to reproduce the very crises we seek to avert. To date, the United States and its allies have employed means that exacerbate rather than alleviate the sources of the present crisis. And. sadly, those policies have increased rather than reduced human suffering.
Lost in much of the debate over how to compel Saddam Hussein to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is the fact that the U.S. and its allies are chiefly responsible for having provided Iraq with much of its current arsenal and with the technologies and materials to produce even more ghastly weapons. When the Iranian Revolution deposed the United States's primary ally in the region, Sha Resa Pavlevi, the U.S. decided to provide Saddam Hussein with an unlimited supply of weapons to assist Iraq in its war with Iran. Since the end of the Iran-Iraq war, various multinational corporations (many based in the U.S.) have continued to export to Iraq (directly or through various foreign subsidiaries) the tools and technologies used in the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Hence, if Saddam Hussein is the "monster" some of our leaders and editorialists depict him to be, he's a Frankensteinian monster of our own creation.
Our response has alternated between military assaults and economic sanctions. Neither has worked but both have been deadly. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the United States inflicted tremendous casualties on Iraqi citizens. More than 200,000 Iraqis lost their lives during the forty-two days of bombing. Over half of the deaths were suffered by civilians, approximately 60 percent of whom were children. An international group of 85 scientists, psychiatrists, public health experts, and the like found that the surviving Iraqi children suffer from extraordinary high levels of depression, sadness, worry, and survivor's guilt.
Meanwhile, the International War Crimes Tribunal found the U.S. guilty of nineteen major sets of war crimes including: the intentional bombing and destruction of civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles, and civilian government offices; the execution of soldiers attempting to surrender; and the widespread use of weapons of mass destruction including fuel air explosives, napalm, cluster and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs, and super bombs.
In unleashing its deadly rain of terror upon Iraqi people, Operation Desert Storm constituted a clear violation of international laws and treaties. Iraqi people and their infrastructure were not the orily casualties of the Persian Gulf War. The environment also suffered severe, perhaps irreparable, harm. In addition to the obvious effects of air and water pollution, the desert ecology was seriously damaged. Entire species are in danger of extinction. In some areas, soil has been rendered unfit for agriculture.
Many peace activists, scholars, and diplomats have touted economic sanctions as a humane alternative to bombing. But just as the military response wreaked havoc on the land and its people, economic sanctions have produced enormous suffering. And like bombing campaigns, the targets of the economic sanctions are not the ones actually victimized. The only outcomes economic sanctions have produced to date are increases in disease and mortality rates. As with the bombings, children have suffered the most from the economic sanctions. Infant mortality rates in Iraq have increased several fold since the sanctions were implemented. Preventable diseases are rampant and many children suffer from malnourishment. Economic sanctions and bombing campaigns are equally deadly. Both deprive people of fundamental human rights.
Following the agreement between Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minsister Tariq Aziz providing for U.N. inspectors' access to all potential Iraqi weapons sites, the world enjoyed a brief respite from Clinton administration's saber rattling. But now that the inspection process has reportedly been subverted by Hussein, the U.S. has returned to threatening to unleash its military might against defenseless citizens again. Ostensibly, the rationale for "bombing them back to the stone age" is to "bring stability to the region," in part by coercing Iraqis to depose Hussein.
This rationale remains dubious. If we want stability in the region we should begin by lifting the economic sanctions against Iraq. Inflicting additional pain upon Iraqi people will not spawn a grassroots movement to overthrow Saddam Hussein; rather it will serve, as it has all along, to reaffirm Iraqi citizens' reasons to rally around their leaders and against the West.
Rather than maintaining economic sanctions and renewing our bellicose rhetoric, we must devise strategies to enhance mutual cultural understandings and to build peaceful relations between our societies. Of course, it will not be easy to overcome the results of decades of neocolonialist policies and practices. But it's worth a try. This may mean dusting off some of those citizen diplomacy and detente from below strategies we developed as alternatives to cold war politics. Collectively, we could even develop some new approaches that will prove effective. Clearly, the time has come to seek humane alternatives to military and economic terrorism.
Peace, War And Social Conflict Sessions at ASA meetings
Please send your paper proposals for Section panels or roundtables to the appropriate organizer(s).
"Genocide, Democide, and Politicide"
"Transnational Dimensions of Social Movements" (Co-sponsored by Collective Behavior and Social Movements)
Organizer: Jackie Smith, Department of Sociology, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356 Phone: (516) 632-7714 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This award is for individuals with an outstanding scholarly career in the study of peace, war, genocide, military institutions or social conflict, a single outstanding work, important contributions to teaching the sociology of peace, war, and social conflict, and/or outstanding service to the section. Nominations and supporting information should be sent to Robert D. Benford, Chair, Peace, War and Social Conflict Section, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 68588-0324 by May 1, 1999.
Publications by Section Members
Martin G. Ender and David R. Segal (1998).
Martin Patchen. 1998. Diversity and Unity: Relations Between Ethnic and Racial Groups. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.
Jackie Smith. "Global Civil Society? Transnational Social Movement Organizations and Social Capital" American Behavioral Scientist 42 (September 1998) 93-107.
Lois Ann Lorentzen and Jennifer Turpin, Eds. The Women and War Reader. 1998 New York University Press.
Lynne Woerhle. "Silent or Silenced" in A. Lorentzen and J. Turpin, Eds. The Women and War Reader. 1998 New York University Press.
Letter to the Editor
Regarding Charlie Moskos's award from the ASA and the subsequent walk-out, I'd like to say a few words. In all people, there are both good and bad traits, and Charlie is no exception. He is stubborn, omery, and chutzpadic. I should know. I was his student in graduate school at Northwestern from 1967-1971. He was always independent at a time when everyone was left of center, thus making him right of center. He loved to tweak our noses in his iconoclastic, non-p.c. views of Vietnam back then, and he was oflen right in his facts but woefillly out of step with the zeitgest and he still is. His "don't ask/don't tell" policy influenced Bill Clinton because both are pragmatists. That is their strength but it is also their weakness. Charlie and the President are again out of step with most sociologists, and that will always be the case. But should Charlie have gotten the ASA award? Of course he should have. Not only his impact on the gay issue, but on so many other policy decisions on minorities and women in the armed forces, Charlie's research has led the way to good changes. Ironically (and he'll never get any credit for it), he's done more to help minorities in the army than any leftist has. Stubborn, iconoclastic, controversial. That's our Charlie. Jack Nusan Porter, University of Massachusetts (Lowell)
Curriculum Guide Available: Section members, John MacDougall, Helen Raisz have edited a second edition of Teaching the Sociology of Peace and War. The guide is available through the ASA's publication sales.
MEMBER NEWS: Lynn Rapaport's book, Jews in Germany after the Holocaust: Memory, Identity, and Jewish-German Relations (1997 Cambridge University Press), won the award for the best book in the Sociology of Religion, from the Sociology of Religion section at ASA. It was also a 1998 C. Wright Mills Award Finalist. The book deals with what it is like to grow up Jewish in Germany after the Holocaust, and how Holocaust memory affects postwar Jewish-German relations.
New Web Site: "Genocide: Resources for Teaching and Research" provides annotated links to genocide related sites, an on-line bibliography, and information on conferences and recent publications. The site is maintained and regularly updated by researchers at The University of Memphis and Pennsylvania State University. URL is: http://www.people.memphis.edu/~genocide.
SUMMER 1999: Images of Class (deadline: 16 January
Please Submit 2500-3500 word essays on or off themes on IBM or MAC disk to: Robert Elias, Editor; Peace Review University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco,CA 94117 USA Fax: 415-388-2631/4222772 Ph:415-422-6349 Email: email@example.com
Correspondence Course: SOC 309 The Sociology of the Military (#405) 3 semester credits, 10 lessons/1 exam; (Univ. of North Dakota) Morten G. Ender, Ph.D. contact: http://www.conted.und. nodak.edu/cgi-bin/cs/dept_classlist.cgi/Sociology
International Sociology Moves to the U.S.
International Sociology, Sociology Department, SUNY at Stony
Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794 Phone: (516) 632-4371 Fax: (516) 632-4361
Peace, War, & Social Conflict
The International Journal of Social Movement Research
www. infonex. com/Mobilization
CALL FOR PAPERS
Mobilization is a fully peer-reviewed semiannual journal of social movement research and theory. Mobilization is the only English-language journal of research in the field, and has quickly become an outlet for top quality research and cutting edge theory. Please send submissions to MOBLIZATION: An International Journal, Department of Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4423. European submissions should be sent to Mario Diani, Department of Government, University of Strathclyde, 16 Richmond Street, Glasgow G1 !XQ, Scotland. Format and submission requirements are found on the back cover of each issue, or request them from Hank.Johnston@sdsu.edu or Mario.Diani@strath.ac.uk.