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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Civil Society in the Age of Automation: Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Bots

Policy Brief  No.26 - November, 2018

The next wave of disruptive technology has arrived; it is the Age of Automation. The defining technologies for this new era include robots, chatbots, artificial intelligence, machine learning, conversational interfaces, cyborgs, and other smart devices. These technologies are increasingly becoming the interface between organisations and humans. The risks and benefits for civil society organisations boils down to automation versus augmentation. Automation is where robots and algorithms take over and destroy humanity. Augmentation is more optimistic and suggests that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will help civil society organisations amplify their work to better serve stakeholders and solve significant social change problems.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

INF Weapons: Status, Modernisations, and Arms Control Prospects

Policy Brief  No.25 - November, 2018

Over the past 30 years, arms control treaties and unilateral initiatives have resulted in the destruction of more than 50,000 nuclear warheads.1 The vast majority of those warheads were Russian and U.S. weapons. These accomplishments reflected a political will and conviction that nuclear forces had to be constrained and the role of nuclear weapons reduced. Over the past decade, however, both the will and conviction have changed. Instead, Russia and the United States – and by extension also NATO – are now embroiled in a deepening political clash that has rekindled Cold War rhetoric and triggered significant changes in military postures and strategies. Although less of an ideological clash and intensity compared with the old Cold War, the changes contain all the building blocks needed to create a new one.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles: Towards a Global Ban? Russia’s Perspective

Policy Brief  No.24 - October, 2018

This analysis addresses Russia’s perspective regarding an eventual agreement on eliminating nuclear cruise missiles from strategic equations—in particular, as a means of maintaining the integrity of the INF Treaty.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

Policy Brief  No.23 - October, 2018

On 27 September 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced unprecedented changes to U.S. nuclear forces and practices. Known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the measures were unilateral-reciprocal—the U.S. would act on its own, but also challenge the Soviet Union to take comparable steps. Bush declared additional PNI actions on 28 January 1992. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev responded on 5 October 1991, and Russian President Yeltsin on 29 January 1992.i The U.S. nuclear stockpile fell by 50 percent between 1990 and 1994. No other period in U.S. nuclear history saw such a large numerical reduction in so short a time. The extent of Soviet and Russian implementation, however, remains uncertain. Given the current political and military environment between the U.S. and Russia, any return to the PNI approach seems unlikely.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Social Media Impacts on Social & Political Goods: A Peacebuilding Perspective

Policy Brief  No.22 - October, 2018

The Toda Peace Institute and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are hosting a series of policy briefs discussing social media impacts on social and political goods. Over the next several months, top experts and thought leaders will provide insight into social media’s threats and opportunities. This first briefing provides a conceptual summary, and a set of policy recommendations to address the significant threats to social and political goods. The Full Report provides a more in-depth literature review and explanation of key themes.