So, do you feel ‘secure’ with the way the world’s going? Don’t worry, no one else does either (pretty much). Or worry, if you like – you wouldn’t be wrong.

This paper, written for the Ammerdown Group with additional input from colleagues on the group, queries the prevailing approach to peace and security in the UK (and the West in general) and suggests principles for a more humane and effective approach. It was launched in the House of Lords in May 2016.

The blurb:

‘Across the world, people face growing insecurity as a consequence of a global crisis with ecological, economic, and political dimensions. The principal response of the world’s most powerful states – dominance of their environment by means of extended military and surveillance powers – has been making matters worse.

‘This discussion paper asks why and how the current approach has been failing, and what kind of alternative could be more productive in the long term. It argues that a more secure future for all depends on funding mew answers to fundamental questions: what does “security” mean, whom should it benefit, how is it achieved, and whose responsibility is it?’

But the review on the back cover by Jawed Ludin, former deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan, is more eloquent:

‘As the world continues to grapple with spreading insecurity, and few of the conventional responses seem to really work, a debate on the very definition of security is long overdue. In presenting a new definition of global security, one that is based on a broad social and ecological perspective rather than a narrow politico-military perspective, this paper makes an important contribution to this crucial debate.’

It’s 90 pages but mercifully it also has an executive summary. You can download it from the Ammerdown Group site, here.


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