Theory of Change

World BEYOND War currently coordinates dozens of chapters and maintains partnerships with nearly 100 affiliates around the world. WBW functions through a decentralized, distributed grassroots organizing model focused on building power at the local level. We don’t have a central office and we all work remotely. WBW’s staff provide tools, trainings, and resources to empower the chapters and affiliates to organize in their own communities based on what campaigns resonate most with their members, while at the same time organizing towards the long-term goal of war abolition. Key to World BEYOND War’s work is the holistic opposition to the institution of war at large – not only all current wars and violent conflicts, but the industry of war itself, the ongoing preparations for war that feed the profitability of the system (for example, arms manufacturing, weapons stockpiling, and the expansion of military bases). This holistic approach, focused on the institution of war as a whole, sets WBW apart from many other organizations.

Our ever-evolving theory of change is partially outlined in our book A Global Security System: An Alternative to War and in the short summary version thereof.

We work locally and globally, using education, nonviolent activism, and media to move the world away from wars, militarism, and violence, and toward peace. We advance the causes of demilitarization, nonviolent conflict resolution, and the development of a culture of peace.

We work to develop, inform others, and realize alternatives to the war system in which we live, through campaigns that envision and build a peace system by, for example, closing or converting military bases, divesting money from weapons, demilitarizing police, erecting billboards, restricting the arms trade, promoting unarmed civil resistance, ending wars, and shifting funding to human and environmental needs.

Guiding Principles

We seek to end all war and preparations for war. WBW was founded because there was a need for a global movement to tackle the institution of war as a whole, not just a particular type of weapon or the so-called “war of the day”.

We picture the peaceful, green, and just world we want and work to bring it into being. As we resist the institution of war worldwide, from crippling sanctions and military occupations to the network of military bases that encircle the globe, at the root of what we are calling for is a paradigmatic shift away from an extractive, militarized economy to a regenerative economy.

We set our agenda globally, with board, staff, chapters, and particpants from around the globe, and without sectarian loyalty or enmity toward any nation.

World BEYOND War is non-partisan and does not engage in electoral organizing, meaning that we do not endorse or oppose candidates running for public office or weigh in on elections. We work with activists and groups from across the political spectrum, who can come together on the issue of war abolition.

We use the powerful tools of nonviolent action to resist militarized violence and to render it obsolete. Research has demonstrated that nonviolent resistance is twice as successful as armed resistance and results in more stable democracies with less chance of reverting to civil and international violence. In short, nonviolence works better than war. We also know now that countries are more likely to experience the onset of nonviolent campaigns when there is a greater amount of mobilization globally – nonviolence is contagious!

We work locally through grassroots organizing. World BEYOND War is a global grassroots network bringing together chapters, affiliates, volunteers, staff, and board members in 193 countries. Through this distributed organizing model, locals take the lead by working on strategic issues of importance to their communities, all with an eye towards the long-term global goal of war abolition.

We recognize the chaotic nature of a world in crisis, and strive to build an antiwar movement that can remain visible, effective, and impactful as global circumstances change.

We respect a wide variety of diverse cultures, ideologies, community structures, lifestyles, and opinions that must coexist for a peaceful world. We work towards a vision of global peace that is pluralistic and multipolar.

Abolishing the institution of war will take the experience, knowledge, and strength brought by people from a diversity of backgrounds and racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities coming together. We welcome everyone to bring their full selves to this work and commit to addressing the systemic inequalities that exclude and harm.

The notion of intersectionality, or fusion organizing, is about finding cross-connections between issues to build grassroots power as a unified mass movement. World BEYOND War approaches our work through an intersectional lens that recognizes the multi-faceted impacts of the war machine and finds opportunities for coalition-building with a diversity of partners towards our shared goal of a peaceful, just, and green future.

We are committed to working collaboratively, not competitively, to build up peace and allied movements. As a decentralized network with a remote global staff team and extensive experience with digital tools, we serve as a hub for digital organizing support for other anti-war and pro-peace organizations worldwide. We leverage our skills and resources to amplify the work of partners around the globe by assisting with administrative, organizing, and technological support for coalitions and networks, such as by hosting webinars, creating online petition actions, building websites, and more.

Translate To Any Language