Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Edited by Shin Chiba and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Noted international scholars from a range of disciplines present in this book Japanese and East Asian perspectives on the changed prospects for international peace post September 11. Because East Asia has not been preoccupied with the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the authors’ views serve as a balance to the war on terror declared in the United States.

Chapter 11: Globalization and the 21st Century US Peace Movement

T.V. Reed

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


11. Globalization and the 21st-century US peace movement T.V. Reed I INTRODUCTION The peace movement in the United States in the 21st century is a complicated, multifaceted phenomenon, both because it is heir to many layers of historical precedent, and because in its current form it is embedded in a larger, global movement structure. My approach to social movement analysis is interdisciplinary, drawing both on the social sciences and the humanities, integrating elements from the political, economic, social, and cultural realms.1 My central claim in this context is that to speak of a contemporary US peace movement is to speak of two interrelated phenomena: an anti-war movement focused on US intervention in Iraq, and a peace movement that is part of a worldwide set of forces arrayed against ‘neo-liberal globalization’ policies and practices. The parameters of any social movement are fluid, but designating the parameters of the current peace movement presents more than the usual difficulties. To chart the relationship between the movement against the Iraq War and occupation, on the one hand, and the movement against neoliberal globalization on the other, let me posit an analytical (but not necessarily empirical) distinction between ‘anti-war’ movements and ‘peace’ movements. I take anti-war movements to be aimed primarily at specific conflicts (in this case, Iraq), while peace movements, which continue and sometimes thrive even in the doldrums between wars (though there were few such times in the 20th century) have a wider agenda—they seek not just to end...

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