Home > New Book by Cheyney Ryan Focuses on Pacifism to End War

New Book by Cheyney Ryan Focuses on Pacifism to End War

Mar 12, 2024

A new book by ELAC Senior Research Fellow Cheyney Ryan has now been published by Routledge. Pacifism as War Abolitionism draws on contemporary sociology, history, and political philosophy to provide an account of the ‘war system’. At the core of the book is the point that war begets war, and hence war will not be ended—or even constrained—by finding more principled ways to fight war. According to the author, “War can only be ended by ending the war system, which can only be done nonviolently.”

Critical reviews, including those by ELAC team members, highlight the importance of the book release:

“War is the most egregious manifestation of the evil of which we human beings are capable. We have no claim to be civilized or ‘advanced’ as long as we continue to slaughter one another in war. That we must progress beyond war is the thesis of this book. Ryan’s pacifism is neither naïvely utopian nor grounded in religious dogma. It is based on an analysis of politics that is both realistic and deeply informed by his vast knowledge of history, including military history.  There is deep wisdom in this book from which we all have much to learn.” – Jeff McMahan, University of Oxford, ELAC Steering Committee member, and author of “Killing in War”.

“At last, a major new book that makes the case for pacifism. Cheyney Ryan’s rich distillation of history, philosophy and personal activism will educate and inspire a new generation of war abolitionists.” Hugo Slim, Las Casas Institute for Social Justice, University of Oxford, ELAC Steering Committee member and Senior Research Fellow, and author of “Killing Civilians: Method, Madness, and Morality in War”

“In an age of perpetual conflict, Cheyney Ryan delivers a courageous and deeply reasoned account of how war can be abolished. Pacifism as War Abolitionism, in contrast to the Just War tradition, focuses on non-violent means for ending the war system that enables endless war. The book presents a compelling, urgent call to action for policymakers and citizens alike.” – Brianna Rosen, University of Oxford, Senior Fellow at Just Security, and ELAC Visiting Fellow of Practice.