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Sustainable Security

openSecurity’s Sustainable Security column identifies preventive solutions to address root causes and underlying trends of social, environmental and national security threats. The four interconnected trends that are identified as most likely to lead to substantial global and regional instability are: climate change; competition over resources, including water, energy and food; economic and other forms of marginalisation of majorities both globally and within most states; and militarisation.

These four drivers represent something new. Never before has humanity faced a world as interconnected yet so socio-economically divided, where environmental limits are so apparent and where traditional approaches to the use of force are so counter-productive.

Each month a rotating network of experts from Oxford Research Group’s Sustainable Security programme and their partners will explore on-going issues of global and regional insecurity.

The team also blogs here.


El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity?

The truce declared in 2012 may have been imperfect and controversial but positive lessons must be learned amid the country’s current crisis of violence.

A long road ahead: integrating gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations

A spate of violence against women in the eastern DRC shows that there is still a long way to go on effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, 14 years after its adoption. 

The Sahel-Sahara between 'Arab spring' and 'black spring'

The international media spotlight follows the US politico-military agenda to the Middle East but potentially transformative developments to the west in Africa deserve much closer scrutiny.

In deep water: China tests its neighbours’ patience

China’s rapid growth is placing increasing demands on natural resources in the region but Beijing’s political rise is encouraging the dictatorship to flex its muscles as associated tensions rise.

Pakistan: the decade of drones

Drones may offer an appealing alternative to the US after Iraq and Afghanistan but they don’t provide genuine security.

Boko Haram: completing the circle of liberal interventionism?

Clarion calls on social media for action in Africa have once again become an excuse to flex military muscle, as the rhetoric of 'humanitarian' interventions is increasingly outfitted with the tactics of the war on terror.

The return of great-power politics

“Sustainable security” claims to address the causes of insecurity, not just symptoms. But when those “symptoms” are huge inter-state crises—as between China and Japan over disputed islands or between the US and Russia over Ukraine—what does it have to offer?

Britain’s strategic pause: lessons from an insecure and interventionist century

After 100 years of continuous war, can Britain learn the limits of military action to respond to shifting realities of insecurity? Continued investment in force projection and lack of commitment to genuine reflection on today's security challenges suggests it's not yet ready to let go of its militarist mindset.

Sustainable security and the challenges of 2014

openSecurity's newest column explores the drivers of global insecurities and addresses their root causes. We look ahead to 2014 and the planet's unsustainable state. 

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