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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

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.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Peace and Security in Northeast Asia

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?

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.

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 I)

Policy Brief  No.123 - February, 2022

In Part I of this two-part study, the concept of ontological security is presented and linked to the spatial turn in peace and conflict studies. The spatial turn and the concept of ontological security allow the framing of issues of peace, conflict and security as fundamentally em-placed, as inextricably connected to place/space/scale, offering a promising entry point to the understanding of the challenges to peace and security which come with climate change-induced human mobility. However, both ontological security and the spatial turn are fundamentally Western academic concepts; therefore, it is argued that it is necessary to combine these concepts with the genuinely Pacific approach of relationality if they are to be made useful for the understanding of the climate change – mobility – peace/conflict nexus in a Pacific socio-cultural context.