November 2014David Aldridge examines the reasons usually advanced for involving children and young people in commemorating the war dead, and finds many of them wanting. He critically examines the high profile in schools of charities, like the Royal British Legion, with vested interests in certain kinds of commemoration. And he argues forcefully for a justification of remembrance in schools that requires a major rethink of established rituals and practices.
At a comfortable distance from warfare, our culture easily passes over its horrific reality in favour of an appealing, even romantic, spectacle of war. Militarism, past and present, attempts to control public opinion by aligning it with its own worldview. In his new book, Spectacle, Reality, Resistance: Confronting a culture of militarism, David Gee takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, exploring these dynamics – distance, romance, control – in three essays, accompanied by three shorter pieces about the cultural treatment of war and resistance to the government's increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war.
2014Quaker Peace and Social Witness has produced two new resources for peace education: Conscience (primary school-focused) and Conviction (secondary school-focused). Conviction can supplement existing lesson materials in subjects such as History, Religious Education or Citizenship, and be used to support the delivery of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) or Spiritual Moral Social Cultural (SMSC) education. Through engaging with speaking and listening activities in pairs and groups, children can discuss and reflect on historical source materials including documents, letters, posters and images.
May 2016A group of UK peacebuilding professionals invite you to participate in a new civic conversation about alternatives to the current approach to national security. Here they outline their concerns about the existing model, and offer a different vision for the future, welcoming input from anyone who wishes to engage in this debate.
September 2014This paper, published by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International, shows that the taxpayer would save approximately £50 million per annum if the minimum age of recruitment were raised to 18; it would also result in the army needing to find about 211 fewer new recruits annually, based on current numbers joining the trained strength. The paper concludes that the case to cease recruiting from age 16 is now overwhelming and urges a full, independent review of the policy, with a view to phasing out the recruitment of minors as an unnecessary, cost-ineffective, and fundamentally unethical practice.
A short film made by Headliners and ForcesWatch, 2014Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.
October 2014A nationwide poll conducted in July 2014 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd found that 78 per cent of respondents who expressed a view thought the minimum enlistment age for the Army should be 18 or above. Just 14 per cent of respondents thought the minimum age should be 16 (as it currently is) or less. An identically worded poll conducted in April 2013 by ICM found 70 per cent of respondents who expressed a view thought the minimum enlistment age should be 18 or above, with 20 per cent supporting 16 or younger. See data from 2018.
2014Why does the UK military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the UK government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch and Headliners worked with a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions. These discussion points can be used in education and youth groups.
2014Gender and Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace, published by the Women Peacemaker Programme in 2014, is a resource with contributions from many individuals and organisations, including some of the foremost researchers in the area.
2014A BBC resource. Includes a final section on 'could this happen today'? At the outbreak of war in 1914, the British Army had 700,000 available men. Germany’s wartime army was over 3.7 million. When a campaign for volunteers was launched, thousands answered the call to fight. Among them were 250,000 boys and young men under the age of 19, the legal limit for armed service overseas.