This report was informed by a workshop held at the Winston Foundation for World Peace , Washington, DC, on March 31, 1995. The Institute for Resource and Security Studies (IRSS) has proposed a process for assembling evidence on the benefits and costs of preventive action. Preventive action (also known as preventive diplomacy) seeks to prevent violent conflict. It is widely believed that preventive action is more cost-effective than a policy of responding to conflicts or crises after they have erupted. Yet, there are few systematic analyses of the benefits and costs of preventive action.
The workshop was held to examine the need for such evidence and the merit of the particular process that IRSS has proposed. Overall, it was concluded: (1) that evidence on benefits and costs can and should be assembled; and (2) that IRSS’ s proposed process is feasible and useful.