About ORG

The Oxford Research Group (ORG) is a leading independent think-tank that has been influential for 30 years in pioneering the idea of sustainable approaches to security as an alternative to violent global confrontation, through original research, wide-ranging dialogue, and practical policy recommendations.

Oxford Research Group (ORG) celebrates over 30 years of building trust between policy-makers, military and civil society and academics. Founded in 1982, ORG works to address the toughest security questions using detailed research and drawing on deep understanding of how human beings behave.

No-one else puts such a priority on this combination of political analysis and understanding of human behaviour. The results are original insights into what is possible.

ORG’s Founder Dr Scilla Elworthy

Our consultants combine detailed knowledge of global security issues together with a deep understanding of political decision-making, and many years of expertise in facilitating constructive dialogue.

About the Organisation

Oxford Research Group, which is now based in two offices in London, is one of the UK’s leading of advocates for alternatives to global conflict. By combining in-depth political and technical expertise and experience in promoting serious analysis, dialogue and change, we develop alternative thinking on security issues.

Many groups publish studies, convene symposia, and promote their own solutions to international security challenges. ORG, however, has its own distinguished contributions in this field that set it apart. It has successfully lured opposing sides in major international controversies into productive Track II sessions. It has taken principled positions without allowing itself to become an instrument of partisan politics. Through such capabilities, ORG has gained the respect of governments and groups in civil society throughout the world.

Henrik Salander, Former Deputy Director-General, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Our long-term goals are to encourage and promote a deep shift in the way that people think about security, based on the understanding that lasting security is not attainable through military means. Developing long-term ‘sustainable security’ for everyone means understanding the root causes of conflict, and promoting dialogue rather than confrontation as the means to a truly secure world.

We believe that current national security practice is failing and will continue to fail to deliver long-term security. A western-centric, militarised security framework is increasingly incongruent with the globalised complexity of contemporary security threats and risks.

Security is a powerful word. How we define it shapes our conceptions of current threats. The idea of sustainable security is rooted in the notion that we must recast war-fighting as an exceptional emergency action, a ‘very last resort’ based on the recognition that war in itself is a dangerous risk generating social institution to be avoided rather than chosen.

Oxford Research Group occupies a uniquely valuable position among peace and security think-tanks. It constantly challenges prevailing security norms, and provides a fruitful environment for decision-makers and opinion-formers to come up with fresh thinking on ways to resolve the major conflicts we face.

Jonathan Steele, Senior Foreign Correspondent, The Guardian

We carry out and commission research into realistic alternatives to current security orthodoxy. Our core team of senior consultants lead our work, united by a common philosophy. We seek to foster dialogue between influential figures as a means of developing new ideas and making possible significant policy shifts. We work in partnership with many other individuals and groups, and the media, to magnify our influence with key constituencies.

ORG is a registered charity, and a public company limited by guarantee under English law. It was first established in 1982 by Dr Scilla Elworthy.  ORG, and its founder, was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003. The Independent newspaper named ORG as one of the top 20 think-tanks in the UK in 2005.