A Non-violent, sustainable and peaceful world.

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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Contemporary Peace Research and Practice

Confronting the Covid-19 Crisis: Danger and Opportunity

Director's Statement  No.71 - April, 2020

The challenge of Covid-19 will either result in innovative systemic change or a reassertion of a status quo that has proven incapable of dealing with this pandemic and with increasing economic, political, social and environmental dysfunctionality. In this statement, Toda Peace Institute Director Professor Kevin P. Clements, examines the dangers and opportunities of the crisis, and identifies the present as a moment of creative possibility from which might emerge a world fit for the rest of this challenging century.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Conflict and Social Media: Activism of Civil Society for Peace Between India-Pakistan

Policy Brief  No.70 - March, 2020

This policy brief examines the work of civil society activists in India and Pakistan and explains how the social media strategies of civil society activists can ease the risk of war and violence and improve the prospect for long-term peaceful relations between both countries. Having experienced four wars between 1948 and 1999, peace efforts on the part of civil society activists have existed for many years. Civil society’s use of social media for peace is a new trend. This policy brief endeavours to add new insights on civil society’s use of social media to support peace and attempts to enhance existing dimensions to the question of how to respond to the rising conflicts between nuclear countries India and Pakistan – an issue that can no longer remain unnoticed by members of civil society and the international community.

Contemporary Peace Research and Practice

A Peace Research Agenda for the 21st Century: Report on an International Workshop (6–8 December 2019)

Summary Report  No.69 - February, 2020

What is the future agenda for peace research in the 2020s? Does peace research still have a distinct identity? What are the norms and values that peace research institutes espouse and can they influence practice in the face of the global challenges we face? This policy brief presents the summary from a meeting of the world’s major peace research institutes, convened by the Toda Peace Institute in December 2019, at which these questions were addressed. The meeting mapped out a new agenda for peace research, based on the main challenges which face the field. Potential for collaborative partnerships between the peace research institutes in these areas and new research directions were identified, and strategies for better integrating research and practice were explored. The meeting also outlined elements of a Code of Conduct for Peace Research institutes.

Climate Change and Conflict

Environmental Peacebuilding and Climate Change: Peace and Conflict Studies at the Edge of Transformation

Policy Brief  No.68 - December, 2019

This Policy Brief presents a comprehensive review of the literature on environmental conflict and peacebuilding. It traces the development of the field from its beginnings in the 1980s until today, identifying several distinct stages which are characterised by specific research questions, approaches and findings. Based on this literature review the authors address major gaps and shortcomings as well as problematic implications of the research so far. A critical approach is developed which can inform Environmental Peace and Conflict Studies in the future, taking up incentives from the field of Anthropocene Studies and the concepts of ‘sustaining peace’ and ‘sustainable peace.’ The Policy Brief concludes with some recommendations that can give direction for a new wave of research which is currently emerging.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

Social Media and Conflict Dynamics on Northern Ireland’s Peace Lines

Policy Brief  No.67 - December, 2019

At interfaces between the Republican and Nationalist Catholic neighbourhoods and predominantly Loyalist and Unionist Protestant neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland, the violence during the ‘Troubles’ (1969-1999) was particularly raw and volatile. As the peace process took hold, enormous effort by community leaders, paramilitaries and other agencies has helped to gradually reduce street conflict to low levels. However, the rise of social media in the last 5-10 years has added a new dimension, both good and bad. Particularly concerning are arranged fights, often sectarian, involving the use of weapons. How does social media impact conflict dynamics in a post-conflict region like Northern Ireland? This policy brief explores the nature of the problem and how those at the frontline such as youth workers, residents and the police use social media to counter it, and offers recommendations for the future.