Think Tanks

Henry Jackson Society

7 Apr 2011 06:27:38

Douglas Murray and staff from the Centre for Social Cohesion join the Henry Jackson Society

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 6 It was announced yesterday that Douglas Murray (pictured) and his staff at the Centre for Social Cohesion have joined the Henry Jackson Society.

The Henry Jackson Society will now oversee and co-ordinate research on radicalisation and extremism within Britain, although the CSC will continue to update legacy projects.

As part of the reorganisation, CSC Director Douglas Murray becomes an Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society.

Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, said of the changes:

"We're extremely pleased to see the joining together of staff from our two respected think tanks, both of which have a proven commitment to the security and longevity of democratic values both at home and abroad.  Douglas and I are very much looking forward to expanding the programme, activities and output of the Henry Jackson Society to meet the pressing public policy challenges facing Britain and the world today."

11 Dec 2009 08:48:57

Profile of the Henry Jackson Society

HJS Key people

The team include the Director Dr Alan Mendoza (who is also a Conservative councillor on Brent Council).

The International Affairs Director Robin Shepherd was previously at Chatham House.

The group's cross-party credentials are reflected in the support of a number of Labour MPs, including Gisela Stuart, as well as Conservative parliamentarians such as Michael Gove MP and Lord Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland.

HJS dislikes the "neo-Conservative" label that it is frequently given, preferring to consider that it embraces a range of opinions in the ideas spectrum with the common denominator of interest in a moral and interventionist foreign policy. Human rights advocates, democracy promoters and security hawks can therefore all be found within its coalition.

Basic philosophy

Henry "Scoop" Jackson was a Democrat Congressman elected as an isolationist in 1940 but who quickly changed his mind and decided that America should join the Second World War. After the war he was a strong champion of human rights and opponent of Communism believing that detente with the Soviet Union was a mistake, and that it ought to be opposed on moral grounds (e.g. that the Soviet Union was an ‘evil empire’) as well as security ones.

The HJS believes in an interventionist foreign policy to promote democracy and human rights around the world. It "supports a ‘forward strategy’ – involving diplomatic, economic, cultural, and/or political means -  to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so."

HJS argues that "modernisation and democratisation often do not not require a military solution. For example, the European Union has been instrumental in expanding its democratic ‘Grand Area’ on the continent since the fall of the Iron Curtain. So has NATO, through the process of eastern enlargement, and various initiatives engaging the Soviet successor states."

For example they argue that military intervention to topple Robert Mugabe from power in Zimbabwe would be justified as a last resort, under “Responsibility to Protect” criteria, but that he could probably be brought down without resorting to it, and that such an eventuality should be pursued by the international community. 

They argue that there is no contradiction between a foreign policy that reflects our national interests and one that promotes democracy and human rights, seeing as the major sources of instability in the world are autocratic regimes and that in a globalised world these will ultimately affect British interests.

Recent achievements

Very active in hosting public speaker meetings in Parliament. Speakers have ranged from Richard Perle, Jose Maria Aznar, Boris Nemtsov, Joschka Fischer to General Sir Mike Jackson.

Acts as the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Transatlantic & International Security and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homeland Security.

The HJS is often willing to be outspoken and anti-establishment. For instance it regarded the western response to Russia over the conflict in Georgia as "pretty feeble." It has raised some issues, such as human rights in Saudi Arabia, that western Governments often prefer to ignore.

Part of their task is to demystify foreign policy and to open up debate rather than it being the preserve of secretive elites. They have also started a blog called The Scoop.

Future plans

These include opening an office in Washington DC. Also developing an umbrella group of like minded think tanks from around the world under the banner of the European Convention on Liberal Democracy.

Issues that they will be concentrating on include "Russian expansionism", the threat of a nuclear Iran, genocide prevention policy and NATO’s future prospects.

Approximate budget and staff numbers

The HJS is a charity. The annual budget is £100,000. There are four members of staff.

Contact details

24 Sep 2009 12:37:00

A Transatlantic partnership to end global genocide

Henry Jackson

"A Guilt Beyond Crime - UK - US Genocide Prevention Policy"(PDF)

Author: Julia Pettengill

Publication date: 24 September 2009

The report states that despite the existence of the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, the UN Security Council has failed to prioritise the prevention of genocide and has watched as five subsequent genocides have materialised. The author concludes that the UK and the US have a moral responsibility to put the issue of effective genocide prevention at the heart of their foreign policy agenda and that this process should begin by protecting the civilians of Darfur from the ongoing atrocities committed by the Sudanese Government. The report calls for a new treaty on ending genocide to be initiated by NATO or a similar body.

4 Aug 2009 13:42:00

The rise of China

Henry Jackson

"The Rise of China" (PDF)

Author: Rosalba Junginger

Publication date: 4 August 2009

The report discusses the success of China's economy and contrasts it with the failure of the Chinese Government to enact significant political reforms and their poor human rights record. The report warns of an increasing anti-American sentiment among radical nationalists in China who are blaming the US for the global financial crisis and the potential for disorder to arise as a result.

23 Mar 2009 14:58:00

A fairer share of the burden in Afghanistan

Henry Jackson

"The NATO Alliance in Afghanistan - A Fair Share of the Burden?" (PDF)

Author: Peter Cannon

Publication date: 23 March 2009

This report calls for NATO countries other than the UK and the US to take more of the burden for fighting the Taliban. The author believes the over-reliance on UK and US forces in Afghanistan is endangering the outcome of the mission and the long term stability of NATO.

9 Mar 2009 15:38:00

A reorganisation of the world economic order?

Henry Jackson

"The Spectre of Global Depression and its Impact Upon International Diplomacy"(PDF)

Author: Marcel Thach

Publication date: 9 March 2009

The report looks at the impact of the recession in the US, Europe, Russia, Japan and China and acknowledges that although each economic area has unique difficulties each economy is inextricably linked. The author argues that the global financial crisis marks an ideal moment for a global reorganisation of the world economic order unseen since the 1930s.

15 Feb 2009 16:34:00

An anti-Western alliance

Henry Jackson

"The Emergence of an Anti-Western Alliance - Implications and Prescriptions for Western Security Strategy"(PDF)

Author: James Coady

Publication date: 15 February 2009

The report focuses on an emerging alliance of governments who share a distinctly anti-Western ideology and the potential grave threat this poses to the West. The report acknowledges the increased co-operation between Russia and left-wing governments in Venezuela and Bolivia along with Moscow's support for anti-Western regimes in Iran and Syria. The anti-Western alliance also extends to China which is making greater strategic engagement in South America and Africa. This report is concerning for all of us who share Western values.