The network facilitates communication and coordination beyond the Internet, including collaborative research, distribution of results and analysis, and policy-oriented meetings among SANDNet participants. SANDNet seeks to enhance the speed, clarity, perspicacity, and credibility of communication within this “virtual community.”
When fully implemented, the network will provide the following services:
- An informational report distributed on a weekly or more frequent basis via listserve email delivery and web site posting. The report, inaugurated in January 2000, contains summaries of nuclear- and security-related news items, as well as headlines and web links to news and analysis from throughout the South Asia region. Material for the report will include contributions from network “* participant nodes” (see below).
- An online “policy forum” will enable network participants to share analyses, opinions, and ideas. The forum will be moderated to ensure that the quality, breadth, and tolerance of the debate continues to serve the diverse community we seek to foster. Discussion forums will be available in print form.
- An online repository for important documents, agreements, texts, and other background information, updated regularly and available via the Internet.
- Training and instruction for network partners, including short-term fellowships at the Nautilus Institute and workshops convened in South Asia.
The substantive criteria of the South Asia Peace and Security Network include the following:
- Focus on nuclear issues. Over time, attention to nuclear issues will be used to anchor the examination of such related issue areas as broadly-defined security and political concerns; economic development; energy production and use; environment, land, and resource issues; and democratic processes.
- Regional breadth. Nuclear and security issues throughout South Asia extend beyond Pakistan and India to all states in the region. Intra-regional cooperation and conflict are an integral aspect of SANDNet focal concerns. Over time content will include regional representation from across South Asia.
- Inter-regional breadth. SANDNet content will also address how nuclear weapons issues in South Asia both affect and are affected by developments in China, the Korean peninsula, and elsewhere in Asia. Over time content will include pertinent materials from China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere in Asia.
- Communication, research, policy development, and publication. By enhancing the access to and timeliness of communication among participants, SANDNet aims to facilitate collaborative research among its members. This collaborative engagement with the problems intrinsic to nuclear issues in South Asia aims to yield politically sensitive and meaningful ways to address these problems. SANDNet will disseminate the results of this work to the network community, governmental policy-makers, and wider public audiences.
- Emphasis on reliability, credibility, and representation. SANDNet will strive to create an environment in which information, analysis, and opinion disseminated through the network reflect the diversity of viewpoints that exist across national boundaries and political spectrums. In particular, network participants are urged to open the network to “alternative” points of view that might be underrepresented in more conventional media. The principle guiding network inclusion will be tolerance of this diversity and respectful engagement with diverging points of view. SANDNet will strive to be a credible source of informed, high-quality dialogue and collaboration.
- Electronic communications assistance. An important subsidiary goal of the network will be to enable participants to take greater advantage of Internet and world wide web opportunities as they pursue their agendas more effectively.
- Virtual community. SANDNet will foster the development of a genuine community that will evolve beyond SANDNet activities in and of themselves. Many network features and activities–such as the establishment of partnership “nodes” and collaborative research programs–will encourage the growth of new group-to-group and person-to-person relationships, thus enhancing regional and sub-regional cooperation that reaches beyond the network itself.
- Participant nodes. Initially, SANDNet production and coordination activities will be centered in the Nautilus Institute. Over time, the network will evolve into a truly collaborative enterprise. The Nautilus Institute hopes and expects that SANDNet will embrace the specialized knowledge and resources of organizations and individuals throughout the world.
Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with the Monash Asia Institute.
Robert Brown, SANDNet Coordinator: SANDNet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States
Wade L. Huntley, Security Program Director: SANDNet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States