Secure Scotland is a new initiative that seeks to: a) challenge the current security paradigm, which depends on militarism, violent masculinities and discrimination, and b) provide a clear alternative for developing policies and suggest action that contributes to defining and building security in Scotland. We have got some funding to pay for either a part-time worker, or some fee-based support. This will allow some infrastructure and activities. We aim to amplify and clearly articulate a different understanding of peace and security from the one which is reliant on national and/or military understanding. We can take flexible approaches, explore potential activities and take advantage of new opportunities.
Observable impacts could be:
That constructive and holistic concepts of security are on the agenda of decision makers in key fields, including government (national and local) community councils, cultural bodies, the third sector, education institutions and health boards.
Expertise on an alternative concept of security is established and available
Physical and digital resources are prepared and made available
An alternative definition of security is given attention within the public domain
Context: Why Scotland?
Secure Scotland can utilise Scotland’s separate legal, parliamentary, and education system to enable some changes locally that would be more difficult to establish across the whole of the UK. Proportional representation and an accessible parliament provide distinct opportunities. Because Scotland is a small country, it only requires bringing our ideas to 5 million people to be able to create a cohesive and clear model that can be seen and to which people in and outside of Scotland can relate. The planning group’s shared experience and relationships in Scotland have already ensured expertise and funding to undertake a pilot project which gives us confidence that Secure Scotland would have appeal and would increase our capacity for and delivery of a lasting change in security discourse here.
The democratic deficit was keenly felt in Scotland over Brexit and nuclear weapons. During the Scottish independence referendum debate, this feeling was a catalyst for the emergence of a strong sense that Scotland – in or out of union – can vision a better and different future that is distinct from the prevailing culture. This future could even provide the opportunity to reconstruct international relations. We want to facilitate Scottish institutions and people to develop such a vision. Our aggregate knowledge and experience in Scotland includes work previously undertaken through the Scottish Centre for Non-Violence and Scotland’s for Peace as well as our existing relationships at the Scottish Parliament and across national institutions. We anticipate that Scotland could provide a useful model for delivering this change across the UK.