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Principles for Reframing the National Security Narrative



Principles for Reframing the National Security Narrative

Our public discourse is seeded with ideas about security that are so deeply embedded we may often be unaware that we are invoking or reinforcing them in our own narration. These principles have been drafted with a view to shine a critical light on those deeply embedded ideas, and equip audiences to envision a different reality, organized around the health and thriving of our human communities and natural world. In particular, we hope to call out and eradicate narratives that sow human division and weaponize fear. We also reject narratives that falsely insist that peace for somecan only be achieved through the deprivation of justice for others. Finally, we wish to call attention to the very poor record of security solutions to political problems: in the medium and long term, the only guaranteed outcomes to security-based solutions are diversion of public resources and postponement of inevitable crises. In contrast, an affirmative emphasis on the values we wish to see at the center of our discourse reveals the possibility for transformative solutions based in human and natural well-being. With these concerns in mind, these are the principles we encourage people to use in framing their communications in debates where “national security” may be invoked.

In addition to reading the PDF, watch this explainer video created in partnership with Molly Crabapple.


Resource Metadata


  • Building Alignment
  • Creating Narrative
  • Translating Narrative


  • Guide


Produced by

  • Rinku Sen
  • Natalie Kabasakalian

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