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A ‘Force for Good’?

Edited by Tim Molesworth and Adam Hug

The nature of conflict in the world is shifting, along with the challenges they present for the UK. The number of violent conflicts today is as high as at any point since the end of World War II and they are lasting longer due to complex transnational dynamics and increasing internationalisation. Fragile and conflict affected countries (FCACs) pose threats to international peace and security, undermining the stability of neighbouring countries, provide opportunities for transnational terrorist networks and criminal groups to operate, drive displacement of populations and provide opportunities for the UK’s geopolitical competitors to exploit for strategic advantage.

The UK has significant experience and expertise engaging in FCACs. However, the UK’s approach to the world and its capacities to do so are changing. The 2020 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy outlines a strategic framework for how the UK engages with the world. It calls for a more joined up and strategic approach between the foreign policy tools which the UK has available. Recent institutional changes, including the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) into the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), provide an opportunity to more explicitly develop that joined up approach – particularly when dealing with complex, multidimensional problems such as those driving conflict in FCACs.

This Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) and Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) publication looks at how various aspects of the UK’s foreign policy engagement in FCACs is adapting to these changes and the impact these may have on peace and conflict in FCACs

To see the full list of recommendations please download the publication.

The publication has been edited by Adam Hug (Director of the FPC) and Tim Molesworth (Senior Adviser, Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Technology at PCi). It includes contributions from: Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP (former International Development Secretary); Dr Alexander Ramsbotham and Dr Teresa Dumasy (Conciliation Resources); Fred Carver (Consultant); Phil Vernon (Consultant and former Director of Programmes at International Alert); Richard Reeve (Coordinator of the Rethinking Security network); Phil Bloomer (Executive Director at Business and Human Rights Resource Centre); Dr Naho Mirumachi and Marine Hautsch (Kings College London); and Helen Kezie-Nwoha (Executive Director, Women’s International Peace Centre (WIPC)) .

This report was launched with a webinar on Monday 6th December, with the following speakers: Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP (former International Development Secretary); Dr Naho Mirumachi (Reader in Environmental Politics at Kings College London); and Tim Molesworth (Senior Adviser, Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Technology at PCi). The event was chaired by Fleur Auzimour Just (CEO of PCi). You can catch up with the audio from the event here and the video here.

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