Earlier in November, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released the inaugural paper in its Expeditionary Economics Research Series, setting a research agenda to reconsider the United States’ approach to military and civilian development in areas stricken by conflict and natural disasters.

The concept of Expeditionary Economics was introduced earlier this year by Kauffman President and CEO Carl Schramm in an article in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, “Expeditionary Economics: Spurring Growth After Conflicts and Disasters.” Schramm argued that economic growth is vital to stability, and the military, as the dominant player in these environments, must sharpen its ability to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship, which is the most effective means to sustainable growth.

In the first paper in the series, Kauffman authors Dane Stangler and Rebecca Patterson build on the argument established in Schramm’s Foreign Affairs article by detailing how ExpECON’s key tenets differ from current development principles, and outlining prescriptions for a more effective development effort. The authors also highlight facets of ExpECON requiring further study, including systems for measuring economic impact, the organizational structure of foreign aid, potential for preventive defense, enabling requisite military education, and issues in political economy.

The Foundation is inviting dozens of preeminent military and development thought leaders and practitioners to join in a dialogue on how to improve U.S. development efforts in conflict and disaster zones.

Kauffman hosted a Summit on Entrepreneurship and Expeditionary Economics with the Command and General Staff College Foundation in May of this year, and is collaborating on a second conference to be held at the United States Military Academy at West Point in February 2011.