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Policy Briefs

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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament New Technologies, Security and Peace

Emerging Technologies Challenge International Humanitarian Law: Mapping the Issues

Policy Brief  No.95 - October, 2020

The shared understanding of the rules and the premise of International Humanitarian Law is challenged by the accelerated development of new military technologies. Is the existing IHL framework robust enough to protect civilians, combatants and the environment in the face of new military technologies? The judicial remedy of IHL is oriented to the past in the sense that its main task is to resolve cases that have already occurred. Therefore, it also tends to ex post relief, as is typical for paying “compensation” for damages. The challenge posed is to address the questions about what may happen in a risk society today. This paper addresses the question of how existing and emerging technologies impact IHL rules in order to consider how legal challenges posed will be responded to in the future.

Climate Change and Conflict

Climate Change and Security: Perspectives from India

Policy Brief  No.94 - October, 2020

While there is no empirical evidence yet to prove that climate change can cause conflict among and within states, there is an increasing agreement among scholars that it can aggravate existing security challenges. India’s future security in a changed climate scenario is uncertain. Tangible alteration in its climatic variables relating to temperature, sea level, and extreme weather phenomena will have far-reaching security implications. The paper seeks to analyse a range of challenges and investigate the state’s efforts to mainstream and factor in climate change within India’s larger security narrative. The paper concludes with key policy considerations to help make India better prepared to deal with the onslaught of climate change impacts before it is too late.

Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding

25 Spheres of Digital Peacebuilding and PeaceTech

Policy Brief  No.93 - September, 2020

This policy brief outlines twenty-fives spheres where technology can contribute to peacebuilding goals and describes five generations of thinking related to the evolution of technology’s impact on peacebuilding. Digital peacebuilding contributes to democratic deliberation, violence prevention, social cohesion, civic engagement and improved human security. Digital peacebuilding contributes to the wider field of digital citizenship and “tech for good.” The policy brief concludes with seven recommendations to build social cohesion, civic engagement and improved human security, which emerged out of a recent Peace Direct global consultation and a Toda Peace Institute workshop.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

On Creating the TPNW Verification System

Policy Brief  No.92 - September, 2020

This Policy Brief explores the anticipated role of the TPNW verification system in the emerging international nuclear disarmament regime, which will determine whether or not the Treaty will be successful in addressing the risks posed by nuclear weapons and in achieving progress on nuclear disarmament. It argues in favour of creating a new verification authority responsible only to the TPNW Parties to address the elimination of the existing arsenals, complementing the verification missions assigned to the International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA) in the text of the Treaty. The author presents a possible framework, methods and techniques to meet the three verification requirements noted.

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

The Nuclear Chain Binding China, India and Pakistan in a Tight Embrace

Policy Brief  No.91 - September, 2020

The Cold War-era weapons governance structures are no longer fit for purpose in contemporary equations where nuclear dyads have morphed into nuclear chains. In an increasingly polycentric global order, the dyadic nuclear arms control structure can neither regulate nor constrain the choices of other nuclear-armed states. Yet growing risks point to the urgent need to institutionalise a nuclear restraint regime fit for purpose in the Asia–Pacific. In this Policy Brief, Ramesh Thakur explores the merits of adapting the Open Skies Treaty and the Incidents at Sea Agreement from the North Atlantic to the Asia–Pacific, and, in the reverse direction, of universalising a no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy from China and India to all nine nuclear-armed states.