A Global Security System: An Alternative to War — 2017 Edition

“You say you’re against war, but what’s the alternative?”


The 2017 edition of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (AGSS) is World Beyond War’s most recent effort to describe an alternative security system – one in which peace is pursued by peaceful means – to replace the present war system. It describes the “hardware” of creating a peace system, and the “software” — the values and concepts — necessary to operate a peace system and the means to spread these globally. Key sections include:

  • Why is an Alternative Global Security System both Desirable and Necessary?
  • Why we Think a Peace System is Possible
  • Common Security
  • Demilitarizing Security
  • Managing International and Civil Conflicts
  • International Non-government Organizations: The Role of Global Civil Society
  • Creating a Culture of Peace
  • Accelerating The Transition To An Alternative Security System

This report is based on the work of many experts in international relations, peacebuilding and peace studies and on the experience of many activists.

Be sure to check out our complementary online study guide: Study War No More: A Concerned Citizens Study and Action Guide for “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.”

This 3rd edition reflects new thinking and insights as well as the feedback from readers and partners. This is not just another report, but a living document that we will continually seek to improve. New in this edition is an analysis of Trump’s foreign policy agenda; updated and new data on peace economics and military spending; and new or updated sections including the business of peacebuilding, demilitarizing security, multi-track diplomacy framework to peacemaking, and many other additions.

“What a treasure. It is so well written and conceptualized. The beautiful text and design immediately captured the attention and imagination of my 90 graduate and undergraduate students.  Visually and substantively, the clarity of the book appeals to young people in a way textbooks have not.” —Barbara Wien, American University

Get your copy of “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (2017 Edition)”

Other formats and editions:

  • Read A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (2016 edition) Free Online here.
  • Second Edition from 2016 is available here.
  • First Edition from 2015 is here.

A Global Security System Poster

Download a copy of our new Global Security System poster.

This poster complements AGSS and will be featured in the new 2018-19 edition of the book.


The 2017 edition was improved and expanded by World Beyond War Staff and Coordinating Committee members, led by Patrick Hiller and David Swanson. Many revisions were based on feedback from “No War 2016” conference participants as well as feedback from students in World Beyond War’s online class “War Abolition 101.”

The 2016 edition was improved and expanded by World Beyond War staff and Coordinating Committee members, led by Patrick Hiller, with input from Russ Faure-Brac, Alice Slater, Mel Duncan, Colin Archer, John Horgan, David Hartsough, Leah Bolger, Robert Irwin, Joe Scarry, Mary DeCamp, Susan Lain Harris, Catherine Mullaugh, Margaret Pecoraro, Jewell Starsinger, Benjamin Urmston, Ronald Glossop, Robert Burrowes, Linda Swanson.

The original 2015 edition was the work of the World Beyond War Strategy Committee with input from the Coordinating Committee. All active members of those committees were involved and get credit, along with allies consulted and the work of all those drawn from and cited in the book. Kent Shifferd was the lead author. Also involved were Alice Slater, Bob Irwin, David Hartsough, Patrick Hiller, Paloma Ayala Vela, David Swanson, Joe Scarry.

Patrick Hiller did final editing in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Paloma Ayala Vela did layout in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Joe Scarry did web-design and publication in 2015.


Click for Hi-Res Cover Image:


  1. Richard Dennis says:

    War is a countless exercise where many thousands perhaps millions are caught up in an argument caused by those at the top.

  2. Peter Warner says:

    Thank you for offering some alternative means of acquiring this book. Nevertheless, I’m very disappointed with WBW for offering this book through corporate booksellers. Elimination of capitalism is a fundamental step towards achieving peace and attempting to regain ecological sanity.

  3. Ending war does not necessarily mean that capitalism needs to be eliminated.
    Surely though, unregulated capitalism is a path that will turn more of the planet into more third-world nations.
    As a Democratic Socialist, I wish that we can put an end to all war.

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