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.
The UK Government should sign the UN’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, argues Christopher Cocksworth, the Bishop of Coventry.
Between Covid and climate catastrophe, 2021 is a time of intense human insecurity. With neither Government nor Opposition likely to develop a strategy that addresses this, Richard Reeve argues that it’s high time the UK had a human security strategy.
In a month of dire warnings of our potential to destroy our civilisation and planet, Andrew Rigby draws hope from the self-interested mobilisation that moved Victorian Britain beyond a public health crisis comparable to Covid-19.
Is it cynical, even paradoxical, for a military alliance like NATO to be talking about human security? In his contribution to a new volume published by NATO Watch, Richard Reeve argues that there is opportunism and considerable room for confusion in NATO’s embrace of the concept, but also the opportunity for a deeper conversation on how real security can be promoted and by whom.
What has oil extraction got to do with migration to the UK? Birmingham volunteer worker Rosemary Crawley tells the story of one woman driven to leave her home in the Niger Delta, and her experience as she came to seek security in Britain.
Clive Barrett reflects on Nigel Young’s “Postnational Memory, Peace and War”, and discovers how memories without borders can be the basis for a transnational culture of peace.
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.