The Public Face of Cyberspace

Debora L. Spar

in Global Public Goods

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130522
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867363 | DOI:
 The Public Face of Cyberspace

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Most people do not think of conflict prevention as a public good, and yet efforts to prevent, contain or stop a war, if successful, surely result in conditions that convey broad benefits – not only for the parties to the conflict but also for wider circles of people and states. Additionally, putting in place conditions that prevent the outbreak of conflicts has broader benefits than containing a specific war. Taking this substantive argument a step further, this chapter considers “just peace” as the true public good. Granted, certain conflicts may have only local effects in the short term. But preventing deadly conflict has truly universal externalities because it acts on any potential source of violence, and therefore potentially protects anyone from violence and death. Hamburg and Holl depict peace as the result of comprehensive and ongoing efforts to build social systems where differences can be settled peacefully. Human rights, the rule of law, basic needs, justice and environmental sustainability are all part of the equation, and the actors may involve public and private institutions or individuals. Hamburg and Holl present a bottom‐up, multiactor and multidisciplinary approach to world peace.

Keywords: conflict; conflict prevention; global public goods; justice; peace; universal externalities

Chapter.  7249 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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