Facing the Dangers of 21st Century Great Power War

A Conference on the Centenary of World War I

Saturday, May 3, 2014 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Assembly Hall, Judson Memorial Church

229 Thompson St., Manhattan

South of Washington Square Park

 9:00-9:30 Registration  There is no charge for the conference.  Please see registration information below if you wish to reserve lunch, which will be available on-site at cost.

 9:30-11:00 90 minutes Looking forward, looking backward:  WWI, today’s risk of great power war, peace movements, and disarmament.  Chair:  David Webb, Leeds Metropolitan University, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Introduction, overview (by the conveners)

 World War I: Anticipations and realities. Dr. Erhard Crome, Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.

 The history of World War I, and the remembrance of its centenary, generally is focused on Europe and its settler colonies, despite its impact on the entire world. The role and view of the rest of the world of the meaning of WWI then and now. Zia Mian, Princeton University.

The risk of great power war today and arms control and disarmament movements: what have we learned from the past, or even the present?   Andrew Lichterman, Western States Legal Foundation.

 11:00-11:30 30 minutes Break   

11:30-12:45 75 minutes The risk of great power war:  regional perspectives (1).  Chair: Lisa Clark Beati i costruttori di pace, Italy

The U.S. and the “Pacific Pivot:” ascending powers confront the global hegemon, old regional conflicts renewed?  Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee; M.V. Ramana, Princeton University.

The Middle East and SW Asia: Resource wars, imperial overstretch and regional realignments. Irene Gendzier, Boston University. 

12:45-1:45 Lunch Break (60 minutes; an inexpensive lunch will be available for sale on site.)

1:45-3:00 75 minutes  The risk of great power war:  regional perspectives (2): BRICs, sub-imperialisms, and post-Cold War conflicts  Chair: Arielle Denis, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Michael Klare, Hampshire College;  Emira Woods, Institute for Policy Studies;  Paul Lansu, Pax Christi Europe.

Break 30 minutes 3:--3:30

3:00-4:15 75 minutes The limits of the moral imagination: industrialized warfare, moral thresholds, and the forgotten history of arms control: what can we learn from the past about avoiding disastrous wars in the future? Chair: Alicia Godsberg, Peace Action New York. John Burroughs, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy; Paul Walker, Global Green;  Götz  Nuneck Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg.

4:15-5:30  (75 minutes)  Disarmament movements, peace movements, and what is to be done amidst a new round of great power competition and conflict? Chairs: Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee, and Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation.

Reiner Braun, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms; Akira Kawasaki, Peace Boat; Judith LeBlanc, Peace Action.

Registration information:  There is no charge for the conference.  An inexpensive lunch will be available on site at cost. We would appreciate pre-registrations indicating whether people wish to purchase lunch.  Please indicate whether you would like a vegetarian meal. Register by writing to Jennifer Sherys-Rivet at JSherysr@afsc.org. For more information, call 617-661-6130. 

Conference conveners and sponsors: American Friends Service Committee, Peace and Economic Security Program; International Peace Bureau; and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and its U.S. affiliates, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation, Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.

Endorsing Organizations:  Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Peace Action