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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

25 Spheres of Digital Peacebuilding and PeaceTech

Policy Brief  No.93 - September, 2020

This policy brief outlines twenty-fives spheres where technology can contribute to peacebuilding goals and describes five generations of thinking related to the evolution of technology’s impact on peacebuilding. Digital peacebuilding contributes to democratic deliberation, violence prevention, social cohesion, civic engagement and improved human security. Digital peacebuilding contributes to the wider field of digital citizenship and “tech for good.” The policy brief concludes with seven recommendations to build social cohesion, civic engagement and improved human security, which emerged out of a recent Peace Direct global consultation and a Toda Peace Institute workshop.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

On Creating the TPNW Verification System

Policy Brief  No.92 - September, 2020

This Policy Brief explores the anticipated role of the TPNW verification system in the emerging international nuclear disarmament regime, which will determine whether or not the Treaty will be successful in addressing the risks posed by nuclear weapons and in achieving progress on nuclear disarmament. It argues in favour of creating a new verification authority responsible only to the TPNW Parties to address the elimination of the existing arsenals, complementing the verification missions assigned to the International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA) in the text of the Treaty. The author presents a possible framework, methods and techniques to meet the three verification requirements noted.

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

The Nuclear Chain Binding China, India and Pakistan in a Tight Embrace

Policy Brief  No.91 - September, 2020

The Cold War-era weapons governance structures are no longer fit for purpose in contemporary equations where nuclear dyads have morphed into nuclear chains. In an increasingly polycentric global order, the dyadic nuclear arms control structure can neither regulate nor constrain the choices of other nuclear-armed states. Yet growing risks point to the urgent need to institutionalise a nuclear restraint regime fit for purpose in the Asia–Pacific. In this Policy Brief, Ramesh Thakur explores the merits of adapting the Open Skies Treaty and the Incidents at Sea Agreement from the North Atlantic to the Asia–Pacific, and, in the reverse direction, of universalising a no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy from China and India to all nine nuclear-armed states.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Complexities of Achieving Strategic Stability in Southern Asia: An Indian Perspective

Policy Brief  No.90 - September, 2020

Establishing strategic stability in a multipolar and complex contemporary nuclear landscape is riddled with complexities. This paper seeks to identify some of the features peculiar to Southern Asia that complicate attainment of strategic stability between China, India and Pakistan. Thereafter, it offers some tentative measures towards strategic stability. While the task appears daunting given the state of relations, it is critical to give some thought to this conundrum and explore options. Not doing so could only exacerbate instability and heighten chances of deterrence breakdown – a risk that the region can ill afford.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament New Technologies, Security and Peace

Technology, Arms Control and World Order: Fundamental Change Needed

Policy Brief  No.89 - September, 2020

Over centuries, advances in science and technology have made possible new kinds of weapons that often provided an advantage in war. Sometimes qualitative change is so big that one can speak of military-technological revolutions. For about thirty years, the term “revolution in military affairs” has been used for the rise of electronics, sensors, precision weapons, networked communication, combined to a “system of systems”. Now we are on the verge of a more fundamental revolution, characterised by cyber warfare, autonomous weapon systems, general military use of artificial intelligence, with new possibilities in the fields of genetics, of manipulation of the human body and mind, and more wide-spread access to technologies of destruction. Preventing the rush to destabilising technologies requires nothing less than a fundamental re-orientation of the political and military strategies of the main actors.