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CCS Seminar - Demilitarising Lesotho: The Peace Dividend - A Basic Income Grant?

Speaker: Geoff Harris and Tlohang Letsie
Date: Wednesday 20 March 2019
Time: 13:00-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room A726, Level 7, Shepstone, Howard College, UKZN

Most of the efforts to transform the security sectors of African countries have had very little impact. This includes security sector reform efforts aimed at a more rational allocation of tasks and resources in the sector. This article is concerned with the strongest form of security sector reform – the total disbanding of military forces. The best example of effective demilitarisation is Costa Rica, which has flourished for 70 years since it disbanded its military.
Lesotho’s strategic situation, the negative behaviour of its defence force since its formation and the opportunity costs of military expenditure provide a strong case for its demilitarisation. Five necessary conditions for a successful demilitarisation can be identified viz. its acceptance by a country’s citizens, a willing government, a detailed demilitarisation plan, an implementing agency and adequate finances. While these are inter-related, the presentation focusses on financial aspects, including the need for foreign assistance to finance the initial investment required. The peace dividend resulting from demilitarisation could be used to provide a basic income grant to all adult citizens. We estimate that this would raise average incomes of the poorest 95 per cent of households by around 20 per cent per annum.

Speaker Bio:
Geoff Harris is a Professor in the International Centre of Nonviolence and Durban University of Technology. His research interests include demilitarisation, restorative justice and economic inequality. Tlohang Letsie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the National University of Lesotho.

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