The Toda Peace Institute commissions evidence-based research, convenes multi-track and multi-disciplinary problem-solving workshops and seminars, and promotes dialogue across ethnic, cultural, religious and political divides. It catalyses practical, policy-oriented conversations between theoretical experts, practitioners, policymakers and civil society leaders in order to discern innovative and creative solutions to the challenges confronting the world in the twenty-first century.

Human Security and Global Governance

Under the leadership of the institute's first Director, Majid Tehranian (1937-2012), the Toda Peace Institute initiated numerous research projects in collaboration with other institutes around the world addressing the following themes: human security and state governance, food security and governance, global governance reform, United Nations Reform for twenty-first century challenges. These initiatives have been continued in recent years in the institute's work on United Nations reform, the development of global citizenship and on the Millennial Development Goals, now the Social Development Goals.

Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

This work has been led by one of Toda's Senior Research Fellows, Chaiwat Satha-Anand of Thammasat University. The research and publications in this area have focused on the role of nonviolent social and political movements in resisting autocratic rule; overthrowing dictators and in long term socio-political transformation. Toda Peace Institute has catalyzed conversations on the differences between principled and pragmatic nonviolence; on the effectiveness of nonviolent civil resistance and in recent years on nonviolent traditions within Islam and the role of Muslim nonviolent activists to counter violent extremism.

Arms Control and Disarmament

Sverre Lodgaard has been taking the lead on Arms Control and Disarmament within the Toda Peace Institute. He is the former Director of the United National Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and NUPI, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. This programme has explored a range of security dilemmas and how these have fueled different kinds of arms races in Europe, Asia and Africa. It has also focused attention on very specific problems such as the meaning of "Global Zero" for nuclear weapons. The institute has brought together experts and policy makers from national governments and multilateral agencies to explore ways in which stalled arms control and disarmament negotiations can be reactivated.
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Climate Change and Conflict

The Toda Peace Institute is embarking on a new programme on climate change and conflict in Oceania. As with other Toda projects, the aim is to provide policy-relevant research and to explore how research findings can be translated into practical policies and peace practice.
The interrelationships between climate change, conflict, security and peace have gained increased attention both in academia and politics over the last years, and with this new programme the Toda Peace Institute will make a specific contribution to both the scholarly debate and the elaboration of policies in this emerging field of research and practice. It will bring together researchers from climate change studies, peace and conflict studies and security studies as well as other relevant disciplines. The primary connecting link will be policymakers and peacebuilding practitioners with an interest in the climate change – conflict – peace nexus. The programme's regional focus will be Oceania as it is generally acknowledged that islands and coastal regions will be particularly severely impacted by the effects of climate change.

Mediation, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

Mediation and facilitation of dialogue is an important process in conflict resolution, prevention and reconciliation. The Toda Peace Institute, under the auspices of Eileen Babbitt of Tufts University, organized a series of meetings in North America on bilateral and multilateral negotiations; ripeness and social psychological drivers of conflict and peace. It also initiated workshops on post-conflict peacebuilding and how to create the conditions conducive to post-conflict trauma healing and reconciliation. More recently the institute has organized a number of interactive problem-solving workshops with academic and political influentials in Japan, South Korea and China aimed at exploring the deeper psychological identity-related needs prolonging conflict in Northeast Asia. The findings of these workshops will be produced in a book entitled "Identity, Trust and Reconciliation in East Asia: Dealing with Painful History to Create a Peaceful Present," to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

Religion and Peacebuilding

Religion's role in modern conflicts is complex. It can be a driver of violence and conflict while being an important source of inspiration for peacebuilding. The Toda Peace Institute has a programme aimed at exploring the complex role of religion in both fomenting conflict and in promoting peace. It organized an innovative workshop in Tokyo, Japan in 2016 on "The Warrior and Pacifist Traditions in the Abrahamic Religions and Buddhism." This workshop was facilitated by Kevin Clements and Paula Green. Participants unraveled the diverse violent and nonviolent strands within these different religious traditions in order to understand what was preventing the peace traditions from assuming ethical and practical primacy. The papers from this meeting will be produced as a book to be edited by Lester Kurtz and published by Transaction Press in 2017.