What would a nonviolent statecraft look like? What are the steps—both in thought and in practice—that can begin to move state actors away from their reflexive turn to martial responses? If the ultimate messianic moment is the day when swords are made into plowshares, what is the first move? How do we pressure our leaders to think in other veins than violent ones? Moreover, what tools have been used and perfected in nonviolent struggles that can then be transferred to statecraft?
Inspired by these questions posed by Tikkun contributing editor Aryeh Cohen, this issue features a discussion of nonviolent statecraft that seeks to move beyond the frame of realist and idealist approaches to foreign policy. As the United States enters the fourteenth year of war in the Middle East—a single war that is actually comprised of a chain of smaller wars—the burden of proof is on “realists” to show that war is the best option. The empirical evidence seems to be that war is a failure that only brings war in its wake. Contributors enlarge the conversation on nonviolence to go beyond resistance to governments and talk about nonviolent statecraft, that is, nonviolence as governmental policy in the arena of foreign conflicts.