Oxford Research Group

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Oxford Research Group (ORG) is a London-based charity and think tank working on peace, security and justice issues. Its research and dialogue activities are mainly focused on the Middle East, North and West Africa, as well as influencing UK and international security policy.[1]

History[edit]

ORG was founded in 1982 by a group of academics and activists with an interest in the psychological dimensions of international security decision-making. While established in sympathy with Quaker values of peace and social justice, ORG is an independent, secular group without affiliation to any religious or political group. It was registered as a charity in England and Wales in 1988.

Initially, the Group focused on dialogue between British nuclear decision-makers and nuclear disarmament activists, widening its activities to incorporate the other P5 nuclear weapons states. In the 1990s, ORG fostered security dialogue between the UK and China on a broader range of issues.

In 2006 ORG relocated from Oxfordshire to London. Since then, it has focused particularly on analysing the causes, consequences and character of the War on Terror, promoting more sustainable approaches to international security policy, mediating track II dialogues around conflicts in the Middle East, and recording the casualties of armed conflict.

Work[edit]

ORG has two thematic programmes and serves as host or incubator for several other projects.

Programmes[edit]

Sustainable Security is ORG’s core thematic programme. It aims to highlight the limitations of orthodox security policy that seeks to contain the symptoms of deeper conflict and to develop policy alternatives that address such underlying drivers as marginalisation, militarisation, climate change and resource scarcity.[2]

The Middle East Programme is ORG’s conflict resolution programme, mediating a series of track II and track 1.5 dialogues in Israel, Palestine and Egypt and between Iran, Syria and other states. The programme uses ‘radical disagreement’ theory[3] to develop strategies for alternative routes to peaceful co-existence.[4]

Incubation[edit]

Every Casualty Worldwide was developed as a programme of ORG between 2007 and 2014. It aimed to enhance the technical, legal and institutional capacity, as well as the political will, for every single casualty of armed conflict throughout the world to be recorded. It became a separate NGO in October 2014.[5]

Remote Control is a project of the Network for Social Change,[6] hosted by ORG since 2013. It analyses current developments in military technology and doctrine such as cyber-warfare, unmanned weapons systems (such as unmanned aerial vehicles), private military and security contractors, and special operations forces.[7]

Reconciliation through Film explores the potential for film and digital media to connect communities and promote reconciliation, starting with Sri Lanka in 2015.[8]

Honours and Awards[edit]

ORG’s founder, Scilla Elworthy, was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003 for ORG's work on the promotion of disarmament and non-violent methods for resolving conflict.[9]

Notable Current and Former Staff and Associates[edit]

Patrons[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]