Policy Brief No.117 - October, 2021
The world is in the throes of two classically defined global problems that confront humanity: climate change and a ruinous pandemic. Everyone is affected; only global solutions can solve them and a truly commonly agreed blueprint is needed not only to face ongoing threats, but to avoid the worst to come in the near future. Decisive joint action in the interests of all humanity is required. In the light of the stark losses incurred by the world economy as a consequence of both these problems, I argue that a new conceptualization of security must be embraced now: humanity’s security. This is a call for action that requires states to pool their resources, capacities and strengths for the common good of humanity to attain global public goods on a planetary scale.
Policy Brief No.105 - March, 2021
The rule of law is being undermined and attacked and the state monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force is almost universally at risk. This policy brief examines contemporary challenges to the legitimate state monopoly on the use of force and its possible future. What are the values and the shortcomings of a legitimate state monopoly on the use of physical force? What does the concept in its ideal form mean and why are these principles questioned and challenged?
Policy Brief No.102 - February, 2021
What does citizenship mean in contemporary democratic societies as they become increasingly multicultural? Can dissent be used constructively to redefine the terms of engagement of minority groups with the state? This paper begins by recalling the grounds for political obedience in terms of the distinction between law and legitimacy. In the context of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it then briefly sketches the assertion of Hindu primacy in the 2014–19 years before examining the seminal events of 2019 and 2020, when protestors issued a clarion call on the conscience of the state to engage in dialogue with its citizens.
Policy Brief No.81 - June, 2020
This policy brief is based on a security perspective and aims to evaluate the following aspects of COVID-19 responses: 1) institutional and legal preparation; 2) recognition of an ongoing crisis; 3) response networks including the use of information communication technologies (ICTs); 4) transparency and credibility; and 5) learning from past and ongoing experiences. The empirical study focuses on three countries, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, because they have relatively mild infection rates compared with those of some European countries and the United States. This article concludes that high-level awareness is necessary to manage a non-traditional security threat and that a response system endorsed by leadership to act based on a legal framework is essential. Mature civil society is essential for resilience, and ICT tools as part of smart city programmes are necessary to improve the efficiency of the response system.
Policy Brief No.75 - May, 2020
The near-universal response to the panic created by COVID-19 leads to the conclusion that the number of ICU beds needed to deal with a disaster should become a new norm, and a new way to judge when radical action is needed to respond to a global threat. So what other types of global catastrophes could call for more hospital infrastructure and personnel than is now available? The nuclear bomb is one obvious answer. This Policy Brief, first published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (28 April 2010), applies the number of available intensive care beds as the new measure for potential nuclear catastrophes.