In his now-famous 2001 Labour Party Conference speech, British Prime Minister Tony Blair likened the impact of the September 11th attacks to a kaleidoscope being shaken up, with the pieces settling to create a new and entirely unfamiliar picture.
We might question whether September 11th was the point of change or the moment of realisation of something that had been taking place for over a decade. Regardless of the chronology, this is change on a revolutionary scale.
While the terrorists, criminals, hackers and war lords have grasped this new reality, the policy community is struggling to produce the step change needed in its response. For too long our responses to the new security environment have been piecemeal and have done nothing more than tinker around the edges.
Joining Forces challenges governments, companies, NGOs and citizens to step up to the challenge of re-shaping and re-defining our approach to security.
It argues that our new security doctrine needs to be underpinned by three assumptions.
First, just as governments have lost their monopoly on the use of force, they must accept they no longer have a monopoly over security.
Second, in a networked world, effective security depends more on our ability to collaborate than on having the right ‘kit’.
Finally, security is not something that is done to you or for you – participation is key.
In a complex, fast-paced and networked world we need a security doctrine that is fit for purpose. This is what we call Networked Security.
Rachel Briggs is Head of International Programmes at Demos and runs the ‘Joining Forces: Tackling global security through local partnerships’ research programme. Her previous pamphlets include The Unlikely Counter-Terrorists (ed), Doing Business in a Dangerous World and The Kidnapping Business.