Call for papers
War in Ukraine: analyzing the causes and exploring nonviolent solutions
At the sunrise of February 24, 2022 the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has begun, surprising many observers (but not all of them) and opening scenarios that, after more than four months of war, still appear largely unpredictable, including a possible nuclear escalation.
Few recent wars have received more media coverage than the current one in Ukraine. Most Western media have given wide coverage to violence and violations of international law by the Russian army, the Ukrainian self-defence efforts symbolized by the President of the country, and the dramatic suffering of the Ukrainian civilian population, forced to flee on an unprecedented scale and speed in recent European history: during the first four months of war, more than 7,5 million people left the country, mainly women and children, although 2,4 million of people in the meanwhile came back to Ukraine. Casualties among Ukrainian civilians are at least 20.000, but those data are probably underestimated.
The political polarization caused by the war, although understandable, has made it difficult to develop a lucid analysis of the conflict and its multiple causes, which is a necessary precondition for an authentic and durable peace process between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, within a new European and international security system. Simplifications induced by a “war-driven state of mind” have instead, very often, tried to dismiss "complexity" as a rhetorical tool used by those refusing to take a position. Efforts to understand the causes of the conflict have been dismissed as an attempt to justify the Russian invasion. Diplomacy and forms of unarmed and nonviolent resistance have been ridiculed as unrealistic and misrepresented as a way to deny Ukraine's right to self-defence.
As a result, Western governments and part of Western public opinion have seen economic sanctions and the sending of weapons - more and more lethal and sophisticated - as the only way to support Ukraine and stop the conflict, aiming at the complete defeat of the Russian Federation without asking, for example, what consequences would be implied by such approach.
The decision of many European governments, starting with the German one, although after much hesitation, to significantly increase military spending even to the detriment of social spending, clearly indicates a tendency towards rearmament. This perspective appears hardly compatible with peace and well-being of people, especially at a time when poverty and inequality are increasing, and public resources should be invested as a priority in the ecological transition.
In such a critical historical phase, we believe that the world of research is called to question itself in order to offer in-depth and reasoned analyses of the ongoing war and, above all, to propose viable solutions of conflicts. These solutions should include unarmed and nonviolent strategies, in order to solve and prevent international disputes, starting with the current one opposing the Russian Federation on one side and Ukraine, supported by the United States, the European Union, and the NATO, on the other.
For these reasons, we invite experts from various disciplines to submit research papers to the journal that discuss and shed light in particular on the following aspects:
- proximate and ultimate causes of the ongoing war in Ukraine;
- theories, practices, historical examples, conditions for the effectiveness of unarmed defence, nonviolent resistance, and peaceful conflict resolution, generally applicable in today's world and particularly in the Ukrainian context, with the aim of creating the conditions for diplomatic solution of disputes;
- uses of different types of media in the ongoing war and responsibility of journalism for the resolution or the escalation of the conflict;
- phenomena of internal displacement and forced emigration of civilians, with particular attention to the policies adopted by the European Union as a whole and by member states;
- local and global effectiveness and effects of economic sanctions as a tool against military aggression or against violation of international law, in the Ukrainian war and in other cases;
- environmental damages and public health hazards associated with military operations in Ukraine;
- legality, legitimacy, and opportunity of military interventions in support of a country invaded or marked by serious violations of human rights;
- new perspectives for international peace and security, with a focus on the role of international and regional organizations, on the role of international jurisdictions (International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, etc.), and on issues of disarmament;
- medium and long-term geopolitical, economic, and social impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine, in relation to the multiple crises (energy, climate, health, food, etc.) that world society is facing today.
Instruction for the authors