About War and Pacification

TNI's War and Pacification project concerns the nexus between militarisation, security and globalisation. It confronts the structures and interests that underpin a new era of permanent war and makes visible the transfer of technologies of control and repression from the battlefield to the border to the barrio. TNI produces cutting-edge research on the coercion, dispossession and exclusion of people considered threatening or worthless by the powerful, advocating alternatives based on peacebuilding, conflict transformation and respect for fundamental human rights.

The project:

  • provides critical analysis of regional conflicts, the ‘war on terror’ and militarised responses to climate change, supporting anti-war, anti-racist and climate justice movements  
  • challenges the corporate capture of security policy and the privatisation of surveillance and control, exposing the companies that profit from violence and tragedy
  • pioneers research on the militarisation of border controls and the criminalisation of the migrants and refugees fleeing war, poverty and environmental degradation
  • promotes solidarity with all those facing repression and injustice, highlighting the suppression of social movements and restrictions on civil society organisations
  • creates space for dialogue, debate and collaboration between movements and scholar-activists challenging authoritarianism, militarisation and the Far Right
  • works with TNI’s other projects to connect the dots and develop alternatives to state-corporate strategies of war and pacification

Read more about our work in 2016 in our annual report.

TNI uses the term ‘pacification’ to describe what is frequently presented as ‘security’. Our research has long shown that the effect of many policies adopted in the name of security is increased social control, allowing the maintenance of social orders that are deeply unequal and unjust. Pacification thus encompasses elite attempts to police the contours of globalisation’s discontents – the unworthy and expendable, the restive and resistant – and close down the progressive spaces occupied by civil society.   


TNI has provided extremely useful research material and concrete help in organising international conferences -- providing government and civil society contacts and resource persons of real authority and expertise. (Achin Vanaik, Retired Professor of International Relations and Global Politics from the University of Delhi)

History

TNI has been working on peace and security issues since its inception. It was founded by the Institute of Policy Studies, which in the 1960s published readers (Vietnam Reader and Intervention and Revolution) that became seminal texts for the anti-Vietnam War movement.

In 1982, TNI fellow Mary Kaldor and TNI associate Dan Smith, published Disarming Europe, examining proposals for disarmament, non-alignment and new forms of defence, which lay the groundwork for ongoing work on nuclear disarmament.

In the 1980s, TNI -- with IPS -- was also actively involved in opposing US intervention in Central America as well as exposing the South African apartheid regime’s efforts at destabilising the frontline states.

As early as 1997, TNI was warning that the US was itching to launch a new war on Iraq. In the aftermath of 9/11, TNI provided cutting-edge analysis of the dangers inherent in the "global war on terror" and played a central role in the mobilisation of a global movement against US-UK war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

TNI was also one of the first institutes to undertake thorough research on the impact of the US war on drugs, highlighting the human and environmental costs for Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Afghanistan. In 2003, TNI published a popular book, Selling US wars, which analysed and exposed the various myths used to justify US military intervention worldwide.

From 2004-2008, TNI ran a Peace and Security project that brought public attention to the vast military infrastructure that supported both US and EU foreign policy strategies as well as the corporate-takeover of security policies, particularly within the EU. TNI played a key role in pulling together research – including launching a Google Earth map of 800 military bases – and temporarily hosted the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases.

From 2010 to 2015, TNI did not have resources for a Peace and Security project, but continued to publish analyses by Fellows on global wars and conflict, and produced a number of key reports on EU security research, notably “NeoConOpticon: the EU Security-Industrial Complex”, by Fellow Ben Hayes, as well as research on the impact of terrorist blacklisting on peacebuilding and conflict resolution: “Building Peace in Permanent War”.