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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Policy Brief No 27 - November, 2018
The Toda Peace Institute and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Otago, New Zealand) organised an international workshop, “Climate Change and Conflict in the Pacific: Prevention, Management and the Enhancement of Community Resilience” in Auckland, New Zealand, from 28 to 30 September 2018. The workshop brought together international experts on climate change, security policymakers and local peacebuilding practitioners and civil society actors in the Pacific. The workshop was attended by 34 men and women from Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries. During a three-day conversation they addressed the local and international challenges and potential conflict linkages posed by climatic uncertainty in Oceania. The key goal of the workshop was to set a framework for research that informs policy, promotes both vertical and horizontal dialogue between researchers, governments and social agencies and people in the region, and produces real-world initiatives to address one of the region’s most pressing issues—climate change.
Policy Brief No 26 - November, 2018
The next wave of disruptive technology has arrived; it is the Age of Automation. The defining technologies for this new era include robots, chatbots, artificial intelligence, machine learning, conversational interfaces, cyborgs, and other smart devices. These technologies are increasingly becoming the interface between organisations and humans. The risks and benefits for civil society organisations boils down to automation versus augmentation. Automation is where robots and algorithms take over and destroy humanity. Augmentation is more optimistic and suggests that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will help civil society organisations amplify their work to better serve stakeholders and solve significant social change problems.
Policy Brief No 25 - November, 2018
Over the past 30 years, arms control treaties and unilateral initiatives have resulted in the destruction of more than 50,000 nuclear warheads.1 The vast majority of those warheads were Russian and U.S. weapons. These accomplishments reflected a political will and conviction that nuclear forces had to be constrained and the role of nuclear weapons reduced. Over the past decade, however, both the will and conviction have changed. Instead, Russia and the United States – and by extension also NATO – are now embroiled in a deepening political clash that has rekindled Cold War rhetoric and triggered significant changes in military postures and strategies. Although less of an ideological clash and intensity compared with the old Cold War, the changes contain all the building blocks needed to create a new one.
Policy Brief No 24 - October, 2018
This analysis addresses Russia’s perspective regarding an eventual agreement on eliminating nuclear cruise missiles from strategic equations—in particular, as a means of maintaining the integrity of the INF Treaty.
Policy Brief No 23 - October, 2018
On 27 September 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced unprecedented changes to U.S. nuclear forces and practices. Known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the measures were unilateral-reciprocal—the U.S. would act on its own, but also challenge the Soviet Union to take comparable steps. Bush declared additional PNI actions on 28 January 1992. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev responded on 5 October 1991, and Russian President Yeltsin on 29 January 1992.i The U.S. nuclear stockpile fell by 50 percent between 1990 and 1994. No other period in U.S. nuclear history saw such a large numerical reduction in so short a time. The extent of Soviet and Russian implementation, however, remains uncertain. Given the current political and military environment between the U.S. and Russia, any return to the PNI approach seems unlikely.