Moving towards Sustainable Security

For some years, ORG has been analysing the underlying drivers of global insecurity and developing alternative responses to those threats. ORG identifies four interconnected trends that are most likely to lead to substantial global and regional instability, and large-scale loss of life, of a magnitude unmatched by other potential threats:

  • Climate change
  • Competition over resources
  • Marginalisation of the majority world
  • Global militarisation 

Current responses to these trends can be characterised as a control paradigm – an attempt to maintain the status quo through military means and control insecurity without addressing the root causes. ORG believes that current security policies are self-defeating in the long-term, and so a new approach is needed.  

This new approach is what ORG refers to as sustainable security. The main difference between this and the control paradigm is that sustainable security does not attempt to unilaterally control threats through the use of force ('attack the symptoms'), but rather it aims to cooperatively resolve the root causes of those threats using the most effective means available ('cure the disease'). This will be achieved through developing security policies that employ preventative, rather than reactive, strategies and are global in focus.

ORG has been developing and promoting the sustainable security framework since early-2005. Our sustainable security programme aims to contribute to a substantial shift in the government and public understanding of the real threats to global security in the 21st century and develop strategies to respond effectively to those threats in order to ensure sustainable security for all. ORG is pursuing this aim through a variety of initiatives in the UK and abroad which are designed to:

  • Ensure that voices from the global south play a central role in the development of the sustainable security framework with the input of non-Western analysis.
  • Explore and define specific sustainable security national policies, for example for the UK context, which will also act as concrete examples for promotion of the framework at the international level.
  • Promote the sustainable security framework
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Advisory board:

  • Chris Abbott
  • Amitav Acharya
  • Mariano Aguirre
  • Carolina Hernandez
  • Isabel Hilton
  • Bassma Kodmani
  • Laurie Nathan
  • Michael Renner
  • Jürgen Trittin
Publications: