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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Policy Brief No 40 - May, 2019
From 2008 to 2010, 3.6 million Brazilians took part in the “Ficha Limpa” movement which aimed to impact political corruption by ensuring that anyone who runs for office has a “clean record.” The combination of a grassroots social movement paired with the Avaaz global web movement’s use of social media as discussed in this case study holds important lessons for civil society. Nonviolent “digital resistance” in Brazil shifted power relations and translated into real-world actions and outcomes. The case study examines the background to the Ficha Limpa movement in Brazil, the way in which the Avaaz campaign unfolded and the results that were realised. The policy brief concludes with nine policy recommendations for civil society regarding digital resistance which emerged out of the Ficha Limpa case.
Policy Brief No 39 - May, 2019
How do peacebuilding organisations communicate about peace online and offline? Narrative competency must be a fundamental aspect of our work as peacebuilders in the modern age, as we confront the challenges posed by social media, divided on-line communities, growing political polarisation globally and more easily-ready manipulation tactics within public discourse. The term narrative is ubiquitous today and commonly used interchangeably with story. However, within the peacebuilding field there is currently a lack of understanding of the concept of narrative fundamentally as a cognitive framework that resides at the level of our unconscious minds, which allows human beings to make meaning of the world. While much has been written about how activists can address narrative change, peacebuilders have a special calling to engage with narratives in a way that is self-reflective, curious, seeks complexity and constructs meaning with others. This policy brief argues that narrative engagement should be a top priority and concludes with policy recommendations for those in the peacemaking field.
Policy Brief No 38 - April, 2019
Recognizing the global relevance of social media threats to human rights, democracy, and peace, the Tokyo-based Toda Peace Institute convened twenty experts from the fields of peacebuilding, democracy, governance, and human rights for an international workshop in December 2018. This workshop is part of a larger programme at the Toda Peace Institute on social media and peacebuilding which includes a series of policy briefs, beginning with a peacebuilding review of the “Social Media Impacts on Social and Political Goods" in October 2018. The Toda Peace Institute is planning further policy briefs and workshops, while a “Global Summit on Technology and Peacebuilding” is planned for 2020.
Policy Brief No 37 - April, 2019
Over 90 per cent of land in Pacific Islands is held in a range of customary forms of communal ownership, belonging as much to past and future generations as it does to the present. In most cases it cannot be bought or sold although some countries have provisions for longterm leases. Land is a critical component of Pacific Island societies and in most places the people and their land are mutually constituted. One cannot be considered complete without the other. Climate change poses two broad problems in relation to this union. First, it may damage the land so that its ability to support its people is curtailed or even destroyed. This will not only have serious implications for the material security of the affected communities but may also affect their emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It is likely that many people will be induced or forced to leave their ancestral lands and find new homes. Second, relocation and resettlement of individual families, and in some cases whole communities, will require new land to be found, a task that will be made difficult because other communities are unable to sell or give their land away. Where there has been significant in-migration to areas in the region, tensions and conflict have often arisen, frequently with land as a significant underlying issue. Finding durable solutions for climate change migrants is likely to be a critical issue in the future.
Policy Brief No 36 - March, 2019
This paper considers the conflict impacts of climate change and outlines potential opportunities for peacebuilding in Solomon Islands, a small independent state in the region of Oceania. Climate change is not viewed here as a standalone issue but as an embedded dimension of contemporary environmental, political, social, economic, and cosmological/spiritual settings.