Security and the Left in Europe. Towards a New Left Concept of Security


Security is a basic need and an urgent necessity for everyone, particularly for those affected by war, violent conflict, police brutality, hate crimes, or domestic violence. Yet, current debates on security are mostly co-opted by the right, and repressive and discriminating policies are justified in the name of security.


The drafting and developing a new comprehensive left concept of security is long overdue, but it is clearly possible and feasible, as the publication Security and the Left in Europe by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office and transform! europe demonstrates. The report reflects a series of discussions among more than 50 activists, representatives of left and progressive parties, social movements, and NGOs from 18 different countries aimed at stimulating a debate about the cornerstones of a new and intersectional left approach to security.

In order to stimulate this debate and contribute to the development of a security concept from the left, a workshop series was designed and facilitated by Katerina Anastasiou (transform! europe) and Axel Ruppert (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office), which took place in the second half of 2020. Over the course of five workshops, activists of left and progressive parties, NGOs and grassroots movements came together to discuss security, its conception and use in contemporary politics.

This workshops series aimed to foster an intersectional and transnational discussion on peace and security through the lens of today’s challenges and movements (feminist, anti-racist, ecological, digital rights and peace movements). Therefore, the workshops were dedicated to the specific focus topics, examining security in relation to 1) militarisation and conflict prevention, 2) the climate crisis and climate justice, 3) migration and anti-racism and 4) democracy and fundamental rights. In this context, the following questions were discussed among the participants throughout the series: What does security mean in relation to these focus topics? What can be learnt from activists, scholars and members of left parties? How is security debated in different regions of Europe? What are the possibilities for synergies among progressive civil society actors when it comes to promoting a left security concept?

In this publication, the authors seek to document the workshops and their results, to reflect intersectional approaches, contradictions and shortcomings in the current positions on security, and to set out considerations and further questions for the development of a security concept of and from the left. Sofian Philip Naceur has taken on the task of providing readers with an insight into the debates.

Please find the ePaper on the left/below (mobile version) in ‘Documents’ (English, PDF).

Table of Contents

Preface, by Axel Ruppert and Katerina Anastasiou
1. Towards a New Concept of Security: the 2020 Workshop Series in a Nutshell
2. The 2020 Workshop Series: Transforming the Security Discourse

2.1 Introductory Workshop
2.2 Militarisation and Conflict Prevention
2.3 Climate Crisis and Climate Justice
2.4 Migration and (Anti-)Racism
2.5 Democracy and Fundamental Rights

3. Towards a New Concept of Security: How to Stimulate a New Security Discourse?

3.1 Common Struggles and Challenges Among Movements and Across Countries
3.2 Countering Dominant Narratives: Successful Campaigns and Best Practices
3.3 Potential Strategies and Approaches for Joint Actions and Campaigns

Conclusion and Outlook