Policy from the People: Introductions

Next month, Fellow Travelers Blog will join with Win Without War to launch a project on grassroots movements for progressive foreign policy. A core priority of progressive foreign policy is democratizing US foreign policy. As such, the new series will bring voices from across the US progressive movement to the blog to discuss the role foreign policy plays in their activism. More than anything, this series will help debunk the Washington myth that everyday people in the United States don’t care about issues of foreign policy and national security. 

Win Without War’s friends and partners, representing many of the activist groups that form the beating heart of the progressive movement, will publish a new essay each month exploring the deep connections between issues that have too long been siloed as “foreign” and “domestic” and detailing the benefits and challenges their organizations experience engaging with the foreign policy world. Whether a consideration of American gun violence in the context of the global arms trade or a reflection on how environmentalists engage with military pollution, the essays will give readers a sense of where the progressive movement actually stands in their foreign policy work, and what we can do to continue to build an internationalist perspective into our advocacy for a more just and equitable policies here at home.

Win Without War and Fellow Travelers Blog both believe that a primary goal of the left foreign policy project is to restructure Washington to give the energetic, activist core of US progressivism vastly expanded power in the foreign policymaking process. For too long, foreign policy specialists have tried to separate themselves from politics, leaving the foreign policy community insular, conservative, and out of touch with the people it claims to serve. It is past time to reconnect the foreign policy community with the people and movements that form the engine of progressive politics.

This collaboration takes a small step toward that goal by opening lines of communication between those who create foreign policy — many of whom are Fellow Travelers readers — and those whose lives and movements are shaped by it, in ways that center activist voices. We hope that the ideas, goals, and frustrations articulated in this series can help create a basis for productive partnerships and new strategies to advance a just US foreign policy.

As we enter this pivotal year, join us in this conversation about the past, present, and future of a progressive foreign policy for the United States. You’ll be able to find each new essay on the Fellow Travelers Blog homepage, and they will be collected as an archive here.

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