Global Policy Forum

Future of the Global Peace Movement


In opposition to the US-UK invasion of Iraq, activist groups from around the world formed the largest global peace movement in history, prompting the New York Times to dub the movement the world's "other super power." Few activists were surprised that the US ploughed ahead with invasion and occupation, but now the movement faces the challenge of redefining its goals and setting a new long-term agenda against violence and imperialism. This section looks at "what's next" for the global peace movement.

Articles and Documents

2011 | 2010 | 2007 | 2006 | Archived Articles

Key Documents

Going Global (April 2003)

This article examines the global movement mobilized around the slogan - The World Says No to War. The article argues that this global movement serves as a counter superpower to the US, which surpasses antiwar protests and challenges American unilateralism and empire.(Transnational Institute Institute for Policy Studies)

Noam Chomsky on the Anti-War Movement (February 4, 2003)

Noam Chomsky talks about the unprecedented diversity and size of the worldwide anti-war movement and the US administration's attempts to win public support by using fear tactics. (Voice4change)

The Peace Movement after the Invasion of Iraq (April 17, 2003)

This article documents the achievements of the anti-war movement and how lessons learnt in opposing war on Iraq will promote peaceful conflict resolution in the future. (ATTAC)


A Story of Moral Abandon (May 16, 2011)

This OpenDemocracy article examines the powerful and often overlooked role of nonviolent protests in challenging violent tyrannical regimes. The author argues that military interventions in countries like Libya by Western powers under the banner of the “responsibility to protect”  are only perpetuating a cycle of violence. They should rather acknowledge the power of non-violent movements in Egypt, Tunisia and Wisconsin.


Human Rights and Globalization - Synergy or Competition? (May 10, 2010)

Human rights seem conditional in the discourse of international peace and security. They are often overlooked to further military and corporate agendas. Yet globalization is connecting the world together and communities are increasingly aware of their long-deprived rights. Global connectedness is advancing the realization of truly universal human rights. (Huffington Post)


Waging Peace (October 3, 2007)

This article discusses the book 'Waging Peace' by Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq. As a republican he voted for George Bush in the US elections in 2000, but has consistently opposed the war in Iraq. Commenting on the recent surge in opposition to the war, Ritter says that "Americans are not against the war in Iraq because it is wrong; they are against it because we are losing." As an active participant in the anti-war movement, Ritter says it lacks both a clear message and effective organization. It also lacks the determination of the powerful US 'military-industrial-congressional complex' and a future vision for the US. Ritter argues that patriotism is the way forward and asks his readers "to love America enough to change it." (Michigan Citizen)

Walking the Talk of Peacemaking (July 4, 2007)

This Common Dreams article argues that while many people think of peacemaking as a passive endeavor, "the absence of war," it actually requires action, dedication, and group efforts. The author argues that peace activists are less frequently using public demonstrations as a means of action. This change prevents activists from working with people who are different from them and also lessens the chance that government bodies and the public will respond to their appeals for peace. The author also assigns fault to the Bush administration which has "curtailed peaceful demonstrations" and the media, which often does not cover activism.

An Open Letter to Our Movement (June 4, 2007)

This Institute for Policy Studies article argues that US citizens' efforts to mobilize for the anti-war movement are fading partly because the Bush administration has continued the Iraq war despite dissent and protests. To advance the movement, the author suggests that we educate the public, pressure the government, and work with resistance organizations and the international community. Though the US government continues to disappoint its constituencies, it must know that "we are still here."

How the Peace Movement Can Win (May 4, 2007)

Despite "vigorous and widespread" mobilization, the US peace movement continues to struggle to restrain the Bush administration from escalating the war in Iraq and Democrats do not seem committed to "pulling the plug" on war funding. According to this Foreign Policy in Focus article, the anti-war movement needs to do more than just gain popular support in order to have longer lasting effects on public policy. The author calls for solidarity and unity among activists to strengthen their common agenda for peace.


What Does an Anti-War Movement Look Like Today? (August 7, 2006)

This AlterNet article presents a new dimension to the movement against the Iraq war, since "mass national protests did not sway the Bush administration." The author discusses the "counter-recruitment" campaign, an initiative by war resisters to discourage youth from enlisting in the US Army. Anti-war activists aim to tackle the military's so-called "poverty draft" by providing alternative economic opportunities to low-income groups and underprivileged youth.

Opponents of Iraq War Rally around Lt. Watada (June 27, 2006)

While courting the press to shield himself from the army's potentially stiff punishment for refusing to serve in Iraq, Lieutenant Ehren Watada has emerged as a new figure for the anti-war movement. Organizations such as Courage to Resist seek "to stop the Iraq war by focusing on those ordered to wage it" and mobilize army resisters. Although military dismiss the influence of the Watada case, peace activists observe that the number of deserters has grown tremendously since the Iraq war began. (Seattle Times)

Why So Little Protest on Iraq? (May 30, 2006)

According to this CBS article, staunch opponents to the war in Iraq, especially students, have not rallied together in protest as much as many have done, for instance, against the atrocities in Darfur. The columnist speculates that perhaps images from Abu Ghraib and Haditha as well as the decline in citizens joining the military have disengaged the US audience from the war.

Have Peace Activists Ever Stopped a War? (January 16, 2006)

The author of this article briefly looks at the role of the peace movement throughout recent history – from early US colonial wars, to the conclusion of the Cold War. In some instances movements have not proved effective, however some others have brought an end to US wars. The author writes that during the Vietnam and Cold Wars, public pressure was so great that it impacted significantly upon US foreign and military policy, particularly on nuclear weapon use. (History News Network)

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