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DPE Tuesday Talk Series: Leif Rosenberger, “Try Shared Prosperity to Reduce the Demand for Violence.”

The Division of Politics and Economics invites the CGU community to attend this week’s Tuesday Lunch Talk featuring Leif Rosenberger, U.S. Army War College. Lunch will be provided.

Armed with a PhD in International Relations from CGU in 1980, Leif Rosenberger spent the next 35 years as a practioner, educator and scholar in the US government. He was a Full Professor of Economics at the Army War College, where he held General MacArthur Chair of Research in Strategic Studies Institute. He was the Chief Economist at PACOM and CENTCOM for almoxst two deacdes.
He still provides advisory support on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the CENTCOM Commander and the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. In February 2018 Dr. Rosenberger was promoted to Chief Economist at ACERTAS. As a Director at Think Renewables, he helped orchestrate a UN sponsored conference in Kenya to reduce climate change. And as Head of the Global Division at the Global Economic Institute, he signed a memo of understanding with the Spanish government, the European Commission and the Canary Islands for an annual economic summit.

Talk title: Try Shared Prosperity to Reduce the Demand for Violence

Talk Description:

G. Gordon Liddy once said, “The world is a very bad neighborhood.” The world is especially bad in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Dr. Leif Rosenberger, who earned his PhD in International Relations at CGU in 1980, has been a practitioner, educator and scholar in this violent arena for 35 years as the Chief Economist at PACOM and CENTCOM and as a Full Professor of Economics at the US Army War College. In his upcoming book, Economic Statecraft and US Foreign Policy: Reducing the Demand for Violence, Dr. Rosenberger breaks new ground explaining the connection between economics and violent extremism.

Leif Rosenberger
Leif Rosenberger

As a history major during his undergraduate days at Harvard, Dr. Rosenberger learned about how the economically coercive Treaty of Versailles ending World War I was counterproductive and led to German resentment, the rise of Hitler and World War II. Similarly, he explains why the economic coercion of Israel in Gaza, US sanctions in Iran, the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar and Donald Trump’s trade war against China and US allies are also counterproductive. He argues that after World War II the shared prosperity of the great French statesman Jean Monnet was a far better idea. Monnet’s European Coal and Steel Community created shared prosperity and turned France and Germany, two previously bitter enemies, into friends – not a bad way to keep the peace in Europe for 70 years.

Dr. Rosenberger’s takes this same economic logic of shared prosperity and explains why it would also be a useful strategy in reducing the demand for violence in the civil wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. Dr. Rosenberger argues that a militarized American foreign policy that puts too big an emphasis on breaking things and killing people too often results in frustration and strategic failure. At best this militarized approach only deals with the symptoms of conflict and squanders opportunities to reduce the demand for violence. Instead, America must move away from anger and fear and toward hope and opportunity. Dr. Rosenberger recommends rebalancing American foreign policy with a greater emphasis on social inclusion and shared prosperity in order to address the root causes of conflict.

More information about the DPE Tuesday Talk Series can be found https://research.cgu.edu/dpe-events-and-conferences/tuesday-talks/.