The rise in authoritarianism is often credited to the successful machinations of charismatic, skillful charlatans, ignoring the longer historical trends towards authoritarianism which has become deeply embedded in contemporary politics, economics and society. TNI has brought together researchers and activists worldwide to examine the underlying causes of today's authoritarian wave with a view to examining how progressive forces' resistance can better challenge and articulate emancipatory alternatives.
The default response for dealing with rising numbers of refugees and migrants has been to militarise borders rather than address humanitarian needs or tackle the underlying causes of people forced to uproot from home. TNI's Border Wars work looks at the globalisation of border security, the way it criminalises refugees and those who support them, the policies that have put security above human rights, and the corporate interests that are driving the agenda and profiting from it.
Rising repression and restrictions for civil society organisations and social movements have put the issue of 'shrinking space' on the NGO agenda. TNI believes that “political space” for civil society is not ‘shrinking’, but rather being taken away, closed down and rendered uninhabitable by the same forces that have hollowed out democracy and placed it at the service of corporations and private interests. TNI is is working with activists and academics to probe the issue critically.
The European Union has a common Security and Defence Policy that sets the agenda on border control and crisis management within the EU as well as how the union responds to global security challenges such as climate change. In addition, many of the EU member states are major military powers in their own right, home to some of the largest arms companies.
The War on Terror (WoT), also known as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), refers to the international military campaign that started after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The United States led a coalition of other NATO and non-NATO nations in the campaign to destroy al-Qaeda and other militant extremist organizations.
Climate impacts are increasingly being viewed through the lens of security, with the expectation that climate change will result in instability and conflict. In practice, this turns the victims of climate change into 'threats', to be controlled by military force, police repression and policies that entrench corporate control at a cost to human rights and civil liberties. TNI started exploring this work in 2011, developing a book published in November 2015, The Secure and the Dispossessed - How the Military and Corporations are shaping a climate-changed world
TNI hosted the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Bases in the early 2000s until funding ran out. However movements against foreign bases around the world continue to actively resist the occupation of their lands. This collection archives some relevant research and materials.
On 17 December 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian man set himself on fire in protest at a police beating after he resisted attempts to confiscate the cart that he used to sell vegetables and fruit. His desperate action prompted a wave of protests - first in Tunisia and then across the whole of the Middle East - as public anger at pervasive corruption, police brutality, unemployment, neoliberal economic policies, rising inequality and persistent human rights abuses exploded to the fore.
This section explores the underlying causes of the uprisings, debates the military intervention in Libya, examines the ongoing constraints on democratic movements, and looks to highlight the implications of changes in the Middle East for Western powers and their main ally, Israel who have supported autocratic dictatorships to facilitate ready access to oil, support the 'War on Terror' and act as a repressive buffer for migration into Europe.