Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Briefs

To see the full list of Policy Briefs, click here.

Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

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

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. 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 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

Foreign policy is an extension of domestic politics in myriad ways. However, no meta-theory offers a framework of analysis that could explain the nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy within the bilateral relations of three politically and culturally distinct states i.e., India, Pakistan, and China. This Policy Brief explore the nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy 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

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. This article looks back on the crisis 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. It 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

Denuclearising North Korea is a perilous odyssey. Pragmatic attitudes coupled with multilateral arrangements can serve as a useful guide to navigating that odyssey. 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.

Climate Change and Conflict

Climate, Security and Peacebuilding: Challenges and Opportunities Across Scales: Workshop Report

Summary Report  No.145 - December, 2022 • By Volker Boege

On 27 and 28 October 2022, the Toda Peace Institute, Victoria University of Wellington – Te Herenga Waka and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted a workshop under the title of ‘Climate, Security and Peacebuilding: Challenges and Opportunities Across Scales’ in Wellington, New Zealand. The workshop addressed challenges and opportunities across scales, from the local to the international, acknowledging that the effects of climate change generate challenges to peace and security across multiple scales and dimensions of societal life, from the everyday security of community members in rural environments to geo-political stability in regional-international contexts. This Summary Report aims to identify the key issue areas and focus on selected findings and insights from the workshop, based on the key notes, presentations and discussions in the various sessions.