Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Briefs & Resources

Toda has published numerous books, Journals and Policy Briefs over the last twenty years. See below for a selection.

Escalation, De-escalation and Perhaps—Eventually—an End to the War?

Contemporary Peace Research and Practice

Escalation, De-escalation and Perhaps—Eventually—an End to the War?

Policy Brief  No.128 - April, 2022

The war is back in Europe. February 24, 2022, the day of the Russian invasion, is called a watershed, a turning point. How will this war possibly end and how can we get out of this escalation spiral? What is a possible path to de-escalation? The massive arms build-ups and mutual threats are reminiscent of the times of the Cold War. It looks like the major powers are trying the chop the globe into spheres of influence again. It seems that there can be no return to intensive economic interdependence, a cornerstone of détente. But in the medium- and long-term, a Helsinki II process is important: a political project that pursues predictability of the nuclear arsenals, arms control and the return to an adherence to international law.

Peace and Security in Northeast Asia

South Korea’s Geopolitics: Challenge and Strategic Choices

Policy Brief  No.127 - April, 2022

South Korea is currently facing growing rivalry between China and the United States, creating pressures which have precipitated intense debates on South Korea’s strategic positioning. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the nature of domestic debates on geopolitical challenges and strategic choice in South Korea. The first section presents a brief historical overview of geopolitical dynamics of the Korean Peninsula. The second looks into South Korea’s strategic dilemma in the face of China-U.S. hegemonic rivalry. Thirdly, the article identifies four strategic options currently being debated in South Korea and traces how they are factored in the domestic politics of the March presidential election, 2022. Finally, it suggests a transcending diplomacy as an alternative to the current strategic dilemma.

Transformation in the Strait: Prospects for Change in China-Taiwan-US Relations

Policy Brief  No.126 - March, 2022

President Xi Jinping’s warning that the US would be ‘playing with fire’ if it supported Taiwanese independence, made at the virtual summit with President Joe Biden on 15 November 2021, followed a number of moves by both the Trump and Biden administrations that appeared to increase US support for Taipei. In Taiwan, public support for independence remains high. Meanwhile both China and the US are ramping up their preparations for a possible military conflict. The February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised existing tensions in the region. What then are the prospects for averting war in the Strait? Can the underlying dispute over Taiwan be peacefully resolved? If not, can the relationships between China and Taiwan, and China and the US, be developed in such a way that their disputes can be managed in a more cooperative manner?

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Comparing Guidance for Tech Companies in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations

Policy Brief  No.125 - March, 2022

This research report explores the strengths and weaknesses of four different frameworks tech companies, governments, and civil society can use to assess harms and benefits of new technologies. The four frameworks include human rights, conflict sensitivity, ethics, and human security. The research methodology involved interviews among diverse stakeholders in technology and civil society sectors. This research contributes policy recommendations for developing practical, operationalizable guidance that could have an immediate impact on tech companies’ work in countries or regions at risk of human rights abuses and violent conflict.

Climate Change and Conflict

Ontological Security, the Spatial Turn and Pacific Relationality: A Framework for Understanding Climate Change, Human Mobility and Conflict/Peace in the Pacific (Part II)

Policy Brief  No.124 - February, 2022

Part II of this two-part study explores the ways in which a combination of ontological security and the spatial turn with a genuinely Pacific approach can contribute to theoretically explaining and practically addressing the challenges of climate change-induced mobility to peace and security in the Pacific region. The focus will be on the fundamental land/people connection and on its implications for ontological (in)security in the face of relocation and displacement. Finally, some conclusions will be drawn and recommendations for further research, policy and practice will be given.