Here you’ll find all our briefings and reports for policymakers. If you have a question, please just get in touch.

April 2020: Evidence submission to the Defence Committee

On 07 April 2020 we submitted evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee on its inquiry into the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review.

February 2020: Open letter to incoming Secretary of State

On 17 February 2020 we wrote to Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, International Development Secretary, with our proposals for changes to the UK’s approach to security.

We also wrote to the incoming chairs of all Commons select committees who would eventually also be represented on the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS), sending them a copy of our comparative analysis of 20 European and North American national security strategies.

General election 2019: Our manifesto for peace and security (90 seconds)

General election 2019: A mini-manifesto

Five rethinks for peace and security.


General election 2019: Briefing for policymakers

As global power relations shift, security needs a rethink: read our key issues for debate during the election campaign.

Download briefing.

July 2019: Open letters to incoming Secretaries of State

On 25 July 2019 we sent open letters to the Defence, International Development and Foreign Secretaries, highlighting 10 actions to end the UK’s contribution to worldwide insecurity and violence. The letters called on the new ministers to rethink the government’s Global Britain agenda by prioritising a sustainable, collaborative approach to worldwide stability.

May 2019: Open letters to incoming Secretaries of State

On 2 May 2019 we wrote to Penny Mordaunt MP, Defence Secretary, and Rory Stewart MP, International Development Secretary, with our proposals for changes to the UK’s approach to security.

Parliamentary briefings

Rethinking Security has published two parliamentary briefings:

  1. Download the June 2017 parliamentary briefing on the shortcomings of the UK security strategy.
  2. Download the March 2018 parliamentary briefing on how the UK security strategy could be re-framed for the shifting global context.

Brexit, ‘Global Britain’, and the UK’s place in the world: Key issues for peace and security (2019)

The Brexit debate is happening at a time of shifting global power relations. With the UK’s economic and military influence already diminishing relative to some other powers, the prospect of Brexit has prompted renewed questions about its future place in the world.

Download briefing

Contrasting narratives: a comparative study of European and North American national security strategies (2018)

This study of 20 European and North American national security strategies analyses how states define security and their underlying assumptions about how it is built. It examines how security challenges are analysed and prioritised, and the formulation of strategic responses. Finally, it compares opportunities for democratic participation and oversight in the development and implementation of national security strategies.

Download report.

Rethinking Security podcast (2017)

In this podcast, the lead author of Rethinking Security, David Gee, presents its key ideas to an audience from humanitarian and development organisations.

Rethinking security: A discussion paper (2016)

This 90-page paper provides an evidence-based critique of the UK’s national security strategy. It analyses the features of an outmoded narrative, and suggests the principal reasons for this failure to adapt. The paper goes on to outline some principles for a new approach to security, the shift in priorities that would be required, and the practical ways in which a new approach might be applied to current security challenges.

Other resources

Conciliation Resources: ‘Overwhelming majority of British public support talking to proscribed terrorists in pursuit of peace’ (2017)

Saferworld: ‘Lessons on counter-terror and countering violent extremism’ (2017)

Celia McKeon: ‘Stop Trump – definitely! But then what?’ (2017)

Celia McKeon: ‘UK National Security Strategy: Security for whom?’ (2016)

Celia McKeon: ‘Uncomfortable assumptions on security: the UK vote on support for Saudi Arabia’ (2016)

Prof Andrew Rigby: ‘Redefining security: Lessons from Public Health’ (2015)

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