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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

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

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

This Policy Brief addresses the geopolitical situation in South Asia which is witnessing entangled trends, reflected as chronic India–Pakistan confrontation, the frigid China–India relationship and the increasing US–China competition. First, it analyses the competitive US–China relationship and its implications for the China–India–Pakistan nuclear trilemma. The second section examines the frigid China–India relationship and its implications for the China–India–Pakistan nuclear trilemma. The third section 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, it 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

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 recognises that 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. The Policy Brief concludes with policy recommendations to address the concomitant dangers.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Internal Drivers – The Nexus between Domestic Politics and Bilateral Relations: Exploring India–Pakistan, Pakistan–China, and China–India Dynamics

Policy Brief  No.148 - January, 2023 • By Sadia Tasleem

This Policy Brief explores the nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy in India, Pakistan, and China to explain what the contemporary domestic political trends in each state indicate about the future of bilateral relations and explains how bilateral relations may in turn affect domestic politics.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Ukraine as a Proxy War: Issues, Parties, Possible Outcomes, and Lessons

Policy Brief  No.147 - January, 2023 • By Ramesh Thakur

This Policy Brief looks back on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a longer-term and broader reflective analysis of four intertwined threads: the core issues at dispute, the conflict parties, the possible different endings to the war, and the principal lessons to be drawn from the conflict. Since the second world war, there has been a long-term shift from the power end of the spectrum towards the normative end as the pivot on which history turns, with a steady reduction in societal, national and international violence. This has been accompanied by a geographical shift from Europe to Asia and the Pacific as the new cockpit of world affairs. Bucking these twin trends, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked the return of Europe to the centre of world affairs, and the return to Europe of geopolitics, territorial disputes and large-scale force and ground wars not experienced since 1945. The Policy Brief concludes with the question: Where to next?

Peace and Security in Northeast Asia

Fixing the Deadlock in North Korean Denuclearisation

Policy Brief  No.146 - December, 2022 • By Chung-in Moon

This Policy Brief, first published in the East Asia Forum, summarises the history and reviews the current position of the countries which took part in the Six-Party Talks. It concludes with the presentation of a possible way forward and an assessment of the cooperation necessary for progress to be made. Denuclearising North Korea is a perilous odyssey. Pragmatic attitudes coupled with multilateral arrangements can serve as a useful guide to navigating that odyssey.