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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding
Transforming the Colour of US Peacebuilding: Types of Dialogue to Protect and Advance Multi-racial Democracy
Policy Brief No.114 - September, 2021 • By Lisa Schirch
Strategies to advance democracy in the US are fragmented with white peacebuilders mainly focusing on using dialogue to reduce political polarisation, and black and brown social justice activists mainly emphasizing the need for shifting power to ensure democratic representation and basic rights already enjoyed by most white people. This article begins with a race- and gender- sensitive analysis of the history of US polarisation and changemaking methods. It interrogates the ideas of “civility” and “impartiality” within the US context. This article asserts that the Movement for Black Lives should be understood as a peacebuilding strategy, and that bridgebuilding dialogue is relevant for building coalitions and support for racial justice. A model visualising four types of bridgebuilding dialogue offers a strategic peacebuilding vision for the US.
Protecting the Planet’s Commons: Global Commons Law
Policy Brief No.113 - August, 2021 • By Denise Garcia
A tapestry of rules and norms form an uncharacteristic branch of international law which could be called global commons law, comprised of principles and norms forged by a vast mosaic of actors in shared stewardship and with a commonality of interests. Global commons law helps to sustain the absence of conflict and promotes cooperation, and partly explains the prevalence of endeavours towards cooperation. This branch of international law is unique as it does not ascribe rights and duties to states but to individuals and humanity. The state is not only a user and beneficiary, but it is also a guardian, and therefore has duties and responsibilities to ensure the preservation of these domains in which legal (sovereign) ownership is absent but which are characterised by peace instead of military confrontation.
Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Peace and Security in Northeast Asia
Rallying for a China Strategy
Policy Brief No.112 - July, 2021 • By Herbert Wulf
In several summit meetings in June, the US administration tried to convince European allies and other G7 members to rally for a containment strategy against China. While the three summits of the G7, NATO and US-EU demonstrated harmony, there remain reservations in Europe about subscribing to the confrontational course against China. This paper will look at the reactions in Europe and assess how successful the new US administration was in convincing the G7, NATO and the EU to join hands in countering China. While the US government is pushing hard for a joint effort, European leaders are balancing the different economic, technological, political and security interests.
Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding
Cognitive-Affective Mapping and Digital Peacebuilding
Policy Brief No.111 - June, 2021 • By Evan A. Hoffman
Ideologies play a fundamental role in the emergence, escalation and resolution of conflict by underpinning divergent narratives and worldviews. These ideologies develop and are reinforced over the course of a lifetime. Practitioners need the proper tools to adequately visualise these complex ideologies in individuals and/or groups and work with them as part of a larger peacebuilding process. This policy brief presents a technique for visualising ideologies using a new software tool called Valence that enables technology-assisted Cognitive Affective Mapping(CAM). It then offers lessons from a recent online conflict resolution exercise in which multiple stakeholders used this tool in an ongoing water conflict in Canada via a series of facilitated Zoom sessions held in 2020.
Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament
Japan and the Nuclear Ban Treaty
Policy Brief No.110 - June, 2021 • By Yasuyoshi Komizo
Japan has made the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty the axis of its security policy, relying for much of its security on the extended deterrence of the United States. On the other hand, as the only nation to have suffered atomic bomb attacks in war, Japan has for many years taken the lead in proposing resolutions calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. There is a considerable gap between reality and the ideal. Now, there is a new movement gathering momentum in the international community to seek international security without nuclear weapons and the TPNW has been adopted in this context. Japan would be well advised to recognise this trend as an important aspect of international reality, and examine its policy on that basis.