Security matters to everyone, but much that governments do in its name is making us all less safe, at home and around the world. It’s time for a rethink – here’s why.
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Our organisational affiliates challenge different aspects of the current approach to national and global security and support practical alternatives. Here’s some information about four of them.
Campaign Against Arms Trade works to end the international arms trade. It currently has a strong focus on challenging UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
Saferworld researches the impact of counter-terror approaches, and promotes long-term responses to crises and threats, with a focus on addressing the causes of conflict and prioritising peace, rights and development.
Conciliation Resources supports people and groups affected by conflict to address the causes and make progress towards a lasting and just peace.
Oxford Research Group provides research and analysis on underlying causes of global insecurity and advocates more strategic approaches to security and peacebuilding.
One year after a decisive election and on the verge of a definitive break with the EU, there is still little substance to the government’s Global Britain slogan. The three big political parties are talking about the UK’s future role in the world, says Richard Reeve, but do any have a compelling vision for how the country can work collaboratively for sustainable global change?
We are already in climate triage, argues Sam Adelman, and the responsibility to address global heating lies disproportionately with countries like the UK with the largest historic greenhouse gas emissions. Climate justice is the new imperative.
The time is ripe for a new approach to national strategy that thinks long-term and puts the participation and wellbeing of the public at its heart, says Sophie Middlemiss, as she shares the initial findings of the National Strategy for the Next Generations project.
Catherine Henderson argues that how we talk and write about migrants determines how we and others think about them and their place in our society. Welcoming migrants as ‘arrivers’ matters as much as recognising the reasons they had to leave other countries.
How we think about ‘security’, argues Stuart Rees, depends on the language we use to describe it. Speaking up for justice and common humanity is insufficient without recognizing, as many poets have, the cruelty and coercion that characterise the national security approach.
There is no security without food security. Geoff Tansey argues that meeting the real security needs of humanity necessitates the progressive redistribution of military budgets toward ending hunger and achieving sustainable development.
The view from below: how the UK’s approach to national security is affecting people.
Saudi Arabia is well known for its authoritarian government and widespread repression. Despite talk of reforms under Crown Prince Mohamed Bin-Salman, there has been a recent increase in imprisonment, torture and executions.
While the decision to finally allow women the right to drive attracted global publicity, it has been accompanied by a crackdown on the women’s rights movement.
The government is also leading a coalition military campaign in Yemen, which is responsible for widespread civilian casualties.
Ameen Nemer is a human rights activist from Saudi Arabia who was forced to seek asylum in the UK.
More than 3,600 people were killed in the conflict known as The Troubles.
Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups carried out most of the killings; the UK security forces are estimated to be directly responsible for about 10 percent of the deaths, but there is also evidence of numerous instances of collusion between these forces and paramilitaries.
One of these cases was Gerard Slane, who was murdered by a loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA, in a killing linked to the security forces.
His wife Teresa is still fighting for truth and justice.
The Gulf state of Bahrain has a long history of authoritarian government and political repression. In the Arab Spring of 2011, popular uprisings were crushed with the support of the Saudi military and there were widespread human rights violations by the Bahraini state.
During and since this time, the UK government has provided security and justice training to institutions that are implicated in severe abuses. It has also supported arms exports, despite Bahrain featuring on its own human rights watch list. Sayed Alwadaei is a Bahraini human rights activist who has suffered for speaking out against the dictatorship.