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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Can Conflict Resolution Principles Apply in Ukraine?

Policy Brief  No.153 - January, 2023 • By Hugh Miall

How can the tradition of ideas and practice about conflict resolution be applied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine? It is vital to try to bring the conflict to an end, to avert the obvious risks of the conflict widening and escalating. Yet there are few expectations of an early peace and the conflict seems highly resistant to resolution. Is the application of conflict resolution and the achievement of a reasonable outcome completely hopeless in these circumstances? This Policy Brief analyses the conflict at three inter-related levels, and explores the belief that conflict resolution principles could be applied if the parties were to move away from their current positions.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

External and Domestic Drivers of Nuclear Trilemma in Southern Asia: China, India, and Pakistan

Policy Brief  No.152 - January, 2023 • By Jingdong Yuan

This paper discusses both the external and domestic drivers of the nuclear trilemma in Southern Asia that involves China, India, and Pakistan. It identifies and examines the internal dynamics of the China–India and India–Pakistan conflicts and explores how domestic drivers such as nationalism, public opinions, and civil-military relations either mitigate or exacerbate nuclear risks in a region marked by perennial disputes, emerging rivalry, and long-standing extra-regional interferences. The paper addresses the central theme of the nuclear trilemma between China, India, and Pakistan by looking at causes of instability, risks of conflicts and escalation to nuclear use, and prospects of restraints and risk reduction.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Plus ça Change? Prospects of a Nuclear Deterrence Multipolarity in Southern Asia

Policy Brief  No.151 - January, 2023 • By Toby Dalton

The key variable in an emergent Southern Asian nuclear multipolarity is the India–China relationship and the extent to which nuclear weapons become more prominent in respective national security belief systems in New Delhi and Beijing. This Policy Brief addresses the prospect of such a transition in Southern Asia. It first assesses the existing boundaries of nuclear deterrence, then evaluates four trends that are pushing the region towards deterrence multipolarity. Next it identifies two possible fulcrums: developments that would tip the region from the status quo into a new system. Finally, it surveys the rather barren landscape of existing CBMs before identifying possible avenues to improve stability and reduce potential sources of conflict.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Geopolitical ‘Entanglements’ and the China–India–Pakistan Nuclear Trilemma

Policy Brief  No.150 - January, 2023 • By Lou Chunhao

The geopolitical situation in South Asia is witnessing entangled trends, which are reflected as chronic India–Pakistan confrontation, the frigid China–India relationship and the increasing US–China competition. This Policy Brief analyses the competitive US–China relationship and its implications for the China–India–Pakistan nuclear trilemma. It then examines the frigid China–India relationship and its implications for the China–India–Pakistan nuclear trilemma. It touches on the chronic India–Pakistan confrontation and argues that it is extremely important but also equally difficult for India and Pakistan to reset their relationship from confrontation to cooperation. Finally, the Policy Brief offers proposals for concerned parties to manage their relationship and the consequent nuclear trilemma.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Understanding the Nuclear Landscape in Southern Asia: Complexities and Possibilities

Policy Brief  No.149 - January, 2023 • By Manpreet Sethi

The nuclear playground in Southern Asia is marked by an exceptional level of complexity and the consequent regional nuclear dynamics has fair potential for crisis and arms race instability. This Policy Brief explores the Pakistan–India and China–India nuclear dyads along three specific axes: drivers of conflict; points of commonalities, similarities and differences; and implications of these for their nuclear stockpiles. It concludes with policy recommendations to address the concomitant dangers.