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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Policy Brief No.82 - July, 2020
On June 15, a clash between two nuclear-armed neighbours, fighting with fists, rocks and clubs at an altitude of 4,250 metres, led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. Chinese casualties are unconfirmed but are estimated at 40 deaths. Each side blames the other for the deadly clash. China’s media is state controlled but India’s too is noisily jingoistic. The Modi government’s propensity to bluster and to impugn the patriotism of anyone asking critical or sceptical questions does not inspire confidence in its narrative significantly more than in China’s official narrative. India does not seem to have learnt anything from its abysmal global public diplomacy in the clash with Pakistan in February 2019. With these caveats in mind, what happened; why; and what does it mean going forward?
Policy Brief No.81 - June, 2020
This policy brief is based on a security perspective and aims to evaluate the following aspects of COVID-19 responses: 1) institutional and legal preparation; 2) recognition of an ongoing crisis; 3) response networks including the use of information communication technologies (ICTs); 4) transparency and credibility; and 5) learning from past and ongoing experiences. The empirical study focuses on three countries, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, because they have relatively mild infection rates compared with those of some European countries and the United States. This article concludes that high-level awareness is necessary to manage a non-traditional security threat and that a response system endorsed by leadership to act based on a legal framework is essential. Mature civil society is essential for resilience, and ICT tools as part of smart city programmes are necessary to improve the efficiency of the response system.
Policy Brief No.80 - June, 2020
Decision makers and practitioners have expressed a strong interest in the security implications of climate change since the mid-2000s. In response to this, researchers have produced an impressive literature on climate change and violent conflict. This literature and the resulting discourse are strongly shaped by quantitative research, that is, by statistical studies of a large number of cases. This policy brief identifies eight limitations of quantitative climate-conflict research, outlines the resulting knowledge gaps, and suggests ways to address them.
Policy Brief No.79 - June, 2020
While migration as an adaptation strategy appears to be a possible solution for Pacific communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, without proper planning and preparation, and the involvement and consent of people, it could also potentially lead to forced displacement. This paper reflects on the relocation of the Gilbertese from the Southern Gilbert Islands to Phoenix Islands, and eventually to the Solomon Islands in the 1960s. The planning of the relocation, especially from the Phoenix Islands to the Solomon Islands, and the experiences of the people, provide important lessons that can be used to inform future climate change induced migration and displacement in the Pacific Islands.
Policy Brief No.78 - June, 2020
While social media opened up Myanmar’s information and communication ecosystem in an unprecedented way, it also came with its share of challenges. Low levels of digital and media literacy, amidst a context of political transition, dominated by rising inter-communal tensions and the formalisation of a Buddhist nationalist movement, made for a dangerous cocktail. Facebook dominated the Myanmar internet ecosystem. This case study looks at the role of Facebook in fomenting violence in Myanmar, exploring how the social media platform was weaponised and reviewing Facebook’s response to the situation. It concludes with learnings and recommendations for how risks may be better mitigated.