Disarmament Lobbies

  • Public-Policy Reform
  • 1962

The arms control and disarmament movement is a product of philanthropy. The earliest influential donor was Andrew Carnegie, an internationalist and pacifist who felt sure that war could be banished through stronger international laws and group efforts for peace. (See 1910 entry about the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.)

Another longstanding donor-supported organization with a focus on disarmament is the Council for a Livable World. Founded in 1962 as a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, the nonprofit is active in lobbying against military spending and in favor of dovish defense policies. It was a major backer of the nuclear-freeze movement (see 1981 entry), and has throughout its history been heavily involved in steering giving to candidates for political office who are devoted to disarmament. The organization has a special fund that earmarks campaign donations, and a separate PeacePAC.

In 1980 the council spun off a sister organization, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. It promotes pacific positions on homeland security, defense budgets, and weapons development, and urges accommodation to the nuclear-weapons programs of Iran and North Korea. The center is largely supported by individual donors.

Another prominent voice for disarmament is the Arms Control Association. It was established in 1971 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as part of its effort to modernize the pacifist message. The association continues to receive Carnegie funding, as well as grants from funders like the Ford, MacArthur, Mott, and Hewlett foundations, and the Ploughshares Fund.