New Foreign Policy (NFP) is a group of researchers and activists who are committed to developing an independent, internationalist Scottish policy voice on world affairs. NFP will promote understanding of Scotland’s place in the current world crisis with a focus on four of its main elements:
1) Economically the world sees slowing growth and rising inequality. A new foreign policy needs to confront economic injustice as an international phenomenon built into the world system.
2) A deep and growing suspicion of parliamentary norms. A new foreign policy must address the global democratic deficit and take on corporate and state elites.
3) Ecologically, the uneven geographical impact of climate change. A new foreign policy locates the ecological crisis as central to geopolitical change in the 21st Century.
4) The legacy of European and American intervention in the global south. A new foreign policy should address the mulit-layered and historical consequences of imperialism - from resource inequality to Islamophobia and racism.
NFP came about because the potential breakup of states like Britain and Spain, and transnational institutions such as the European Union, reflect these pressures. By deepening our understanding of these disruptions, we hope to confront the ideas and strategies that led to chaos in the Middle East, authoritarian attitudes in the West and inaction over a failing economic system worldwide.
While not taking a formal position on the Scottish constitutional question, we do believe that Scotland’s Parliament and institutions should have greater responsibility for refugees, nuclear weapons, counter-terrorism and trade. Scotland must develop a higher standard of debate on these questions, and thus develop leverage to influence UK foreign policy.
NFP will promote policy alternatives for Scotland that take account of voices from outside the Euro-American consensus, using three methods:
1) Undertaking independent research on military and international affairs. Too often, the agenda for global research in the United Kingdom has been dominated by large corporate lobbies, particularly the arms and petrochemical industries and by powerful media and political interests. These influences easily pass into public debate, even in universities, leading to flawed perspectives on conflict and terrorism, slowing action on climate change, and misinforming public perceptions on diverse issues, from nuclear weapons to immigration. NFP will commission critical, cutting edge research for the social good on a strictly non-commercial basis.
2) Drawing on international experience NFP will bring expert speakers to Scotland. They will explore policy alternatives that get little attention in our public debate, or relate their experience of the impact of UK foreign policy on often ignored parts of the world system
3) Promoting education on the historical context of UK foreign policy and its imperial legacy. The media often promotes a simplistic, caricatured story of why conflict happens. The result is that citizens have few sources for understanding the world we live in, and misunderstandings are inevitable. NFP will provide accessible materials, and deliver participatory educational programmes with a critical eye on the history behind European and American foreign policy, borders, immigration, Islamophobia and counter-terrorism