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internal-banner_international-security.jpgInternational Security

The international security landscape is rapidly changing. Old definitions of what international security means, and what role states play, are evolving, while the challenges proliferate beyond traditional domains to include non-traditional and emerging factors such as cyber warfare, competition in outer space, climate change, human security, and pandemic diseases. IGCC’s research and policy engagement in international security centers on the economic and technological implications of great power competition, accelerating defense innovation, and encouraging mutual understanding through defense transparency.

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Programs

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Programs

How has an economically impoverished, technologically backward, and internationally isolated state been able to establish robust and increasingly competent nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs? In this policy brief, UC San Diego experts Stephan Haggard and Tai Ming Cheung synthesize what we know about the development of North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities and what it will take to dismantle the program.

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Defense Transparency Index

Northeast Asia is one of the most strategically important but politically volatile regions of the world. Growing arms competition and security anxiety is increasing the demand for defense information, not only from governments and militaries, but also from businesses, the media, and concerned citizens.

Results from the newest edition of the Defense Transparency Index show that defense transparency is on the decline. Among the six countries ranked—China, Japan, North Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the United States and Russia—scores decreased on average by 8 percent compared to 2015–2016, marking a significant decrease in transparency and a worrying trend in an era of intensifying regional security tensions.

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Great Power Competition

Great power competition has returned to the global center stage. New rivalries between the United States, China, Russia, and other emerging powers, increasingly center on technology and economic statecraft, in addition to the traditional military issues. 

This multi-year project brings together scholars from across UC campuses and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to look closely at the intersection of economics, strategy, security, technology, and politics in this dynamic new political landscape.

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Read an interview with Vinod Aggarwal, UC Berkeley, about economic strategic rivalry


The United States leads the world in innovation, research, and technology, but risks losing its national security edge to rising competitors. Catalyst aims to drive more and better investment in, and adoption of, security innovations by strengthening connections between innovators, researchers, investors, and policymakers. An initiative of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, Catalyst’s goal is to broker partnerships, and provides practical, effective policy recommendations to improve U.S. competitiveness and enhance global stability and prosperity.

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Read an interview with Scott Tait, Executive Director, Catalyst

Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD)

This multilateral forum involves high-level policymakers, defense ministry officials, military officers, and researchers from China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia, and the United States. Founded and led by IGCC Director Emeritus Susan Shirk, NEACD seeks to reduce the risk of military conflict in the region and to lay the groundwork for an official multilateral process in Northeast Asia. NEACD has proven its value as the only ongoing regular channel of informal communication among the six governments.

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