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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

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 • By Volker Boege

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 • By Volker Boege

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.

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

Crashing Nuclear Submarines Through IAEA Safeguards

Policy Brief  No.122 - January, 2022 • By Tariq Rauf

This Policy Brief focuses on important relevant issues and questions pertaining to the AUKUS plan to equip the Royal Australian Navy with nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). The AUKUS states apparently have initiated non-transparent and secret discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency on how best to take advantage of a “grey area” or “loophole” in IAEA comprehensive safeguards to exclude weapon-grade highly-enriched uranium from Agency safeguards. China and the Russian Federation have launched diplomatic fusillades across the bow of the IAEA’s Board of Governors criticising the AUKUS plan for providing nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. However the Agency responds, now is the time to further strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the IAEA safeguards system, not to weaken it and not drive a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines through it.

Climate Change and Conflict

Finding a Regional Process to Address the Primary Security Threats to the South Pacific due to Climate Change

Policy Brief  No.121 - January, 2022 • By Ian Fry

This brief explores the nexus between climate change and security in the South Pacific and explores some key climate change-related trigger points that are driving security concerns in the Pacific. The combined effects of these trigger points are likely to drive displacement and forced migration away from Pacific Island countries. Regional security is further heightened by tensions between the US and China and their interests in protecting or exploiting fisheries resources in the region. Current regional organisations do not appear well placed to create an effective dialogue to resolve these climate change-related tensions, due to inherent biases. This Policy Brief explores the option of new collaborative arrangements between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) as a means of creating a higher political authority to consider the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities to address these threats.