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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Polarisation and Peacebuilding Strategy on Digital Media Platforms: The Current Research (Part I)

Policy Brief  No.44 - July, 2019

This policy brief is one of two which examines the issue of polarisation and the extent to which it is driven by digital media. Even if polarisation is not driven by digital media, severe conflicts playing out on the digital stage are in themselves an urgent problem. It is plausible that some forms of digital media drive polarisation and others do not, and also possible that digital media impacts vary by culture. No matter “who is to blame,” new opportunities to build peace are blossoming on digital media. Many people are working hard to build peace using the Internet, and we can learn a lot from their approaches. This first brief is a research overview about polarisation and policy issues related to digital media. After summarising a range of studies in this area, the policy brief closes with a series of questions highlighting where further research is most needed.

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

The Dragon and the Elephant: India’s Perspectives on Sino-Indian Relations

Policy Brief  No.43 - July, 2019

Throughout this policy brief, we vet the use of social media in a major Middle Eastern country - Egypt - where the youth took to the streets to express frustrations that lasted almost a lifetime. While social media helped topple autocratic dictator, Hosni Mubarak, it played the role of Pandora’s box, unwittingly showing the strengths and weaknesses of the society’s fabric. The brief follows a string of events that changed the face of the Egyptian state and with it came conflict. We also discuss how extremism infiltrated potentially every home with access to internet and offer solutions that can aid this creeping disease that lures sympathisers. Finally we list a number of recommendations that could help civil society groups sustain a dialogue and a have a strong impact on the general public.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Social Media in Egypt: Impacts on Civil Society, Violent Extremism & Government Control

Policy Brief  No.42 - June, 2019

Throughout this policy brief, we vet the use of social media in a major Middle Eastern country - Egypt - where the youth took to the streets to express frustrations that lasted almost a lifetime. While social media helped topple autocratic dictator, Hosni Mubarak, it played the role of Pandora’s box, unwittingly showing the strengths and weaknesses of the society’s fabric. The brief follows a string of events that changed the face of the Egyptian state and with it came conflict. We also discuss how extremism infiltrated potentially every home with access to internet and offer solutions that can aid this creeping disease that lures sympathisers. Finally we list a number of recommendations that could help civil society groups sustain a dialogue and a have a strong impact on the general public.

Climate Change and Conflict

Toda Pacific Declaration on Climate Change, Conflict and Peace

Declaration  No.41 - May, 2019

In September 2018, the Toda Peace Institute and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Otago, New Zealand) conducted a workshop on “Climate Change and Conflict in the Pacific: Prevention, Management and the Enhancement of Community Resilience” in Auckland, New Zealand. Flowing from the debates and findings of that workshop, a draft of the ‘Toda Pacific Declaration on Climate Change, Conflict and Peace’ was elaborated and opened for comment. After an extensive and comprehensive process of discussion and several iterations of the draft, the Declaration was launched on 26 July 2019. The Declaration has been contributed to by many academics, policymakers, peacebuilding practitioners and civil society actors concerned about the challenges and potential conflict linkages posed by climatic uncertainty in the Pacific. In particular, Toda is grateful to the lead authors Volker Boege, John Campbell, Kevin Clements, Kirsten Davies and Upolo Luma Vaai.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Brazil’s Digital Resistance Against Corruption

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.