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This has been termed the ‘control paradigm’ and is ‘self-defeating in the long-term’ (Abbott et al, 2006).Oxford Research Group (ORG) argues that a new way of approaching security is needed, one that addresses the drivers of conflict: ‘curing the disease’ rather than ‘fighting the symptoms’.It is inability to exercise democratic rights and being unable to voice concerns.’ Poverty, inequality and the consequent scarcity of resources have a combined destabilising impact on political stability (Draman, 2003).Marginalisation from mainstream political society and frustration at inequality render such radical solutions increasingly appealing.

The sustainable security approach posits global justice and equity as key requirements of any effective response to global insecurity.

Acknowledgements: This paper has been the result of a collaborative writing process.

We would like to thank Dr Priscilla Adoyo (Centre for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Kenya); Amira Armenta (Transnational Institute); Aryaman Bhatnaga; Abdul Ebrahim Haro (Practical Action); Dr Mallika Joseph (Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, India); Professor Gilbert Khadiagala (University of Witswatersrand, South Africa); Antionia Porter (Centre for Conflict Resolution, South Africa); for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The current security paradigm adopted by most governments and their defence forces is based on the premise that insecurity can be controlled through military force or containment, thus maintaining the status quo.

These non-Western perspectives must be recognised and addressed in concrete policies in the powerful countries of the Global North.

Such policies should be focused on transforming tensions at their root rather than solely attempting to control violent conflicts once they have already broken out.

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