Thinking of Feynman diagrams as a perturbation series, nonperturbative effects like tunnelling do not show up, because any effect that goes to zero faster than any polynomial does not affect the Taylor series. Even bound states are absent, since at any finite order particles are only exchanged a finite number of times, and to make a bound state, the binding force must last forever.
But this point of view is misleading, because the diagrams not only describe scattering, but they also are a representation of the short-distance field theory correlations. They encode not only asymptotic processes like particle scattering, they also describe the multiplication rules for fields, the operator product expansion. Nonperturbative tunnelling processes involve field configurations that on average get big when the coupling constant gets small, but each configuration is a coherent superposition of particles whose local interactions are described by Feynman diagrams. When the coupling is small, these become collective processes that involve large numbers of particles, but where the interactions between each of the particles is simple.
This means that nonperturbative effects show up asymptotically in resummations of infinite classes of diagrams, and these diagrams can be locally simple. The graphs determine the local equations of motion, while the allowed large-scale configurations describe non-perturbative physics. But because Feynman propagators are nonlocal in time, translating a field process to a coherent particle language is not completely intuitive, and has only been explicitly worked out in certain special cases. In the case of nonrelativistic bound states, the Bethe–Salpeter equation describes the class of diagrams to include to describe a relativistic atom. For quantum chromodynamics, the Shifman Vainshtein Zakharov sum rules describe non-perturbatively excited long-wavelength field modes in particle language, but only in a phenomenological way.
This passage confuses me. Does it mean that non perturbative effects can be calculated using Feynman Diagrams? I thought that Feynman diagrams were by definition perturbation series.