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Randall Forsberg

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Randall Forsberg

Dr. Randall Caroline Forsberg (July 23, 1943 – October 19, 2007) led a lifetime of research and advocacy on ways to reduce the risk of war, minimize the burden of military spending, and promote democratic institutions. Her career started at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in 1968. In 1974 she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts (where she earned her Ph.D. in 1980) to found the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies as well as to launch the national Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.[1][2]


Randall Forsberg (née Watson, 1943-2007) became interested in arms control issues while working at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1974, she returned to the United States, and became a graduate student in international studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1979, Forsberg wrote Call to Halt the Arms Race, which later was the manifesto of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. The document advocated a bilateral halt to the testing, production, deployment and delivery of nuclear weapons.[3]

Forsberg was awarded a doctorate in 1980 and she started the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies, which became an important resource for the peace movement and anti-nuclear weapons movement. In 1983 Forsberg was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. In 2005 she became Spitzer Professorship in Political Science at the City College of New York, and died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 64.[3]


  • 2002 Write-In candidate for Senate, Massachusetts.
  • 1980 launched the national Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.

Government Service

  • 1995 appointed by President Clinton to Advisory Committee of US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
  • 1989 briefed President Bush and his Cabinet officials on US-Soviet arms control issues.
  • Served on panels for the US Congressional Research Service, the US General Accounting Office, and the US Office of Technology Assessment;
  • Testified before US Congress
  • Testified before Swedish Parliament
  • three visits to Seoul, South Korea, in 2001 to participate in panels on North-South Korean reconciliation and arms reductions—two at the invitation of the South Korean military, and one at the invitation of South Korean peace activists.

Talks at West Point, the US Air Force Academy, the National Defense University, and the German War College; and met with senior government officials of Russia, China, Germany, Norway, and other countries. She was on the board or advisory board of the Boston Review, Arms Control Association, Journal of Peace Research, University of California Institute for Global Cooperation and Conflict, and Women's Action for New Directions from ____ until her death in 2007.



  • B.A. Columbia University
  • Ph.D. Political Science: Defense Policy; Massachusetts Institute of Technology



  • IDDS Database of World Arms Holdings, Production, and Trade. (annual)
  • Arms Control Reporter, Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (monthly since 1982)


  • "Citizens and Arms Control",Boston Review,October/November 2002
  • Randall Forsberg and Jonathan Cohen make it clear that the U.S. has no nation-state enemies left who could mount a sustained threat to our national security; see "Issues and Choices in Arms Production and Trade," in Randall Forsberg, editor, THE ARMS PRODUCTION DILEMMA (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994), pgs. 269-290.
  • the Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race, the manifesto of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, and she helped found and lead the campaign. 1980
  • "Randall Forsberg discusses her work and the current international situation", Peace Magazine, Aug-Sep 1989.

As well as articles in Scientific American, International Security, Technology Review, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and World Policy Journal.


  • Abolishing War: Culture and Institutions (with Elise Boulding, 1998).
  • Nonproliferation Primer (with William Driscoll, Gregory Webb and Jonathan Dean) MIT Press April 1995 168 pp., 15 illus.
  • The Arms Production Dilemma: Contraction and Restraint in the World Combat Aircraft Industry (MIT Press November 1994)320 pp.
  • Cutting Conventional Forces (1DDS: 1989)
  • Peace Resource Book (Lexiston Books: 1985)
  • The Price of Defense (NYTimes: 1979)
  • Resources Devoted to Military Research and Development: An International Comparison (SIPRI: 1972)


  1. ^ Dennis Hevesi, "Randall Forsberg, 64, Nuclear Freeze Advocate, Dies," The New York Times, October 26, 2007, p. A25.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Peace Magazine, Aug-Sep 1989, p. 10

External links

  • , 7 November 2007The TimesObituary in
  • Interview about the arms race for the WGBH series, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
  • Interview about the Nuclear Freeze Movement for the WGBH series,
  • War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
  • Obituary
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