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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

The False Information Ecosystem in India

Policy Brief  No.55 - October, 2019

Over the past few years, internet access and adoption in India has grown tremendously, giving Indians more access to the online information ecosystem than ever before. Today, India is one of the largest markets for technology platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. However, the adoption of these technology platforms has also enabled misinformation and disinformation to spread at scale in the country. This has resulted in the eruption of violence and even the deaths of dozens of people. This policy brief explores the false information ecosystem in India, highlighting the key players and approaches they have implemented to curb the spread of misinformation and disinformation. It also offers a set of recommendations for how these efforts can be improved going forward.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Concert of Europe: A Template for Multilateralism in the 21st Century?

Policy Brief  No.54 - October, 2019

History supplies few examples of successful great power cooperation for preserving peace over long periods. For the emerging multipolar structure, one of the rare templates of successful peace-preserving collaboration has been the Concert of Europe (CoE), which emerged in the course of the Vienna Congress of 1815. The CoE worked for a century; it prevented great power war for two long periods and managed at least to avoid all-out war in the interim period of the Crimea War and the Wars of German and Italian unification). This policy brief examines the achievements and shortcomings of the CoE, and discusses how these insights might be applied in light of current global power relations.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Nuclear Arms Control and the Global Order: A View from New Delhi

Policy Brief  No.53 - October, 2019

Since the possession of nuclear weapons, India is more awake to the realistic utility of nuclear arms control as an arms race management instrument or a risk reduction instrument. Ongoing developments in nuclear arms control should matter for India, even if these are taking place in the US-Russia bilateral domain. Whether the future trajectory of NAC will result in positive consequences or adverse ones for New Delhi will depend on many factors, including how these are handled. This policy brief highlights four main issues that will have implications at the global and regional levels, for India in particular and offers five ideas for future NAC possibilities.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

World Order and Arms Control

Policy Brief  No.52 - October, 2019

There is a sense that world order is at a point of transition but we do not know what we are transitioning to. How can we ensure that these processes do not threaten international peace and security? How can we direct the processes of change and transformation to our advantage while avoiding the dangers that they create? What adjustments do we have to make to ensure that the basis exists for cooperative security in the emerging world order? This policy brief considers cooperative security in the rules-based world order and what the future might hold as rules-based order declines. It proposes that a productive approach is to explore a vision of a shared future and concludes with five recommendations.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Social Media in Zimbabwe: A Toxic Tool or a Future Bridge to Peace?

Policy Brief  No.51 - October, 2019

The rise of social media in Zimbabwe has brought with it a greater variety of platforms which offer people a means to express themselves. However, the democratisation of information and the increase in digital spaces have also come with greater state restriction and polarisation among Zimbabweans. This policy brief discusses the state’s attempts to act as the proctor of social media in order to explore the relations between users of online platforms in terms of political leanings and gender. To this end, it will also discuss how online targeting can exacerbate already existing political divisions between people and how the state uses legal instruments to surveil and regulate online activity as a way of maintaining its iron grip on the people. The policy brief concludes with recommendations aimed at stopping hateful, harmful or false narratives being spread at the click of a button.