March 2019In this lecture Professor Paul Higate from the University of Bath looks at the ways in which ‘British values’ have helped to obscure the militarised character of the nation, which is evident in its long history of the use of military violence abroad. Paul draws upon his service in the RAF to discuss the British Army’s recruitment campaign ‘This is Belonging’, the Home Office instigated ‘hostile environment’ and the racialised character of social policy more broadly. Read the lecture transcript.
March 2019At the launch event for our report with Medact on Selling the Military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK, contributors and participants told us why they think this is an important issue. And a longer film of the presentation summarising the report.
March 2019For discussion in union or party branches and councils etc. The motion calls for oversight and regulation of military activities in schools, including for careers and curriculum purposes, and for military-themed activities or perspectives to be balanced by activities focusing on peace and human rights. It also calls for activities run by arms companies in schools to cease.
February 2019This report, written by ForcesWatch and published with the public health charity Medact, analyses the way the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people, creating powerful messages that which exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and well-being of recruits. Narratives of camaraderie and self-development also serve to promote an uncontroversial and depoliticised idea of the military more widely which promote self-fulfilment in the context of conflict.
2018A new film about recent militarism and the battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the UK. The film follows the stories of Ben Griffin, former SAS soldier and founder of Veterans for Peace UK, and Quaker activist Sam Walton, and features the work of ForcesWatch and partner organisations. See here for screenings and how to organise one.
updated August 2018We have teamed up with the Peace Pledge Union to produce a White Poppy Schools Pack, which aims to explore Remembrance in a way that encourages critical thinking, and gives space for marginalised perspectives on war and peace. The learning resource can be read online here, or purchased from the Peace Pledge Union as a bigger pack including white poppies and white poppy leaflets.
This poster on Everyday Militarism (designed by Abbey Thornton and produced by Quakers in Britain) features many aspects of current militarism in the UK. It is a great way to spark off conversation about the roots of war and the kind of society we need to build peace. Available as a download, or to order and there is also an interactive version. It comes with discussion notes. See the poster and related resources
September 2018This briefing summarises key elements of military involvement in education and youth activities in the UK. It covers the defence industry as well as the armed forces and Ministry of Defence. It outlines the main concerns this raises and how these concerns have been voiced so far.
July 2018The nationwide survey found 72% of people who expressed a view believed young people should not be able to join the army until they are 18.