Massachusetts Peace Action (MAPA) is working with others to organize a discussion process which is engaging our members, supporters and allies in a dialogue about the fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy. The principal objective of this effort is to articulate, define, and discuss a positive, policy-oriented foreign policy vision for the peace movement, including Peace Action, to provide a broad framework to which current policy issues can refer.
Massachusetts Peace Action launched the ‘Foreign Policy for All’ initiative in 2014. The purpose of this initiative is to help supplement the peace movement’s criticisms of contemporary U.S. foreign policy (i.e. “what we are against”) by articulating a more clear vision of the foreign policy principles and policies which Peace Action is “for”.
It’s time for a change. After years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with their terrible toll of death and destruction, we are fighting again in the Middle East. But growing numbers of Americans are debating the values and goals of U.S. foreign policy, with its heavy reliance on military intervention. Why has it been so unsuccessful? What is the appropriate role for our nation in today’s world? How does our investment in a gigantic, costly military establishment affect our foreign policy decisions?
Foreign Policy for All Quick Links
In our one-day conference, which was held November 8, 2014 at MIT, immediately after the midterm election, we attempted to outline a more positive vision of U.S. global engagement, one that addresses the actual security needs of people around the world and that is consistent with the principles of peace and justice for all. We explored the actions needed to make the changes we seek, to shift the discussion. Read the conference summary.
The discussion responded to the Foreign Policy for All Working Paper which was prepared by our Foreign Policy for All working group.
The goal is to engage in a discussion at the policy level, and to provide the intellectual leadership necessary to define and promote a positive and actionable vision of U.S. foreign policy consistent with principles of peace and justice.
The conference sought to appeal to the peace movement; engaged academics; some mainstream academics; students of peace studies, international relations, and political science; internationals; and activists in labor, community, international solidarity, and climate movements. Attendance was drawn substantially from the Boston area with some New England-wide and national participation.
Foreign Policy for All Conference
A working group wrote a Foreign Policy for All ‘working paper’, published in October 2014, for use as an outreach tool which can provide a common platform and discussion point for conference participants. Download the working paper.
June- October 2014 – Form working group that meets to study, write Foreign Policy for All working paper, and organize conference
November 8, 2014 – Hold Foreign Policy for All conference
December 2014 – January 2015 – Local MAPA sponsored workshops around the state to discuss document and propose refinements
February 7, 2015 – MAPA annual meeting. Speakers elaborated on and responded to the working paper, workshops debate and amend, and the membership adopted the 1-page summary as a MAPA framework
April 25, 2015 – Peace & Planet: Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just & Sustainable World conference, New York; we presented the document at a workshop
June 26, 2015 – Present document at a workshop as part of the US Social Forum in Philadelphia.
The writing and organizing was carried out by a working group which came together with enough political unity to develop a document together. Working group members met approximately every 2 weeks (schedule permitting) between June and November 2014 and participated in study, writing, and organizing the conference. Group members continue to speak and outrach abouty Foreign Policy for All. Please contact our office at 617-354-2169 for more information or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the 2015 Work Plan of the Foreign Policy for All Working Group.