Human Security and the Middle East

This programme applies a human security lens to the multiple and interlocking issues that bring nations and peoples into conflict in the Middle East region, as a fundamental current flashpoint of great risk to global security. The premise of a human security approach is that no political or strategic goals can be pursued that ignore basic human needs for safety, well-being and livelihood. People on the ground, and their legitimate aspirations, should come before all other political or strategic considerations.

We work on two primary implications of this approach. First, in negotiations, a way needs to be found of allowing all voices need to be heard and respected. Solutions which exclude significant constituencies are doomed to fail. We provide forums in which groups who disagree may begin to build dialogue and find common interests. Second, in military interventions, those who plan and execute them need to find ways in which operations protect, respect and include local populations, rather than alienating them. Our work with Western militaries offers contexts in which fresh thinking can be undertaken about what is to be learned from mistakes made in recent interventions.