Just Security will be on an abbreviated schedule the week of Dec. 26, returning with our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 3. As we look ahead to 2023, we have highlighted four themes we expect will be particularly salient in the coming year, with a selection of recent writing on these topics from authors at Just Security.
While 2022 saw its share of challenges and change, it was also a year of coming together, and we at Just Security are enormously appreciative of the way our community continues to grow. In 2022, five new Editors joined the team of thought leaders on Just Security’s Editorial Board, and existing Editorial Board members Matiangai Sirleaf and Rebecca Hamilton took on new roles as Executive Editors. New and returning authors contributed cutting-edge analysis, including authors bringing crucial perspectives from places around the world impacted by U.S. foreign policy. This year also saw the launch of the Just Security Podcast. And in 2022, an increasing number of articles have been made available in translation.
Readers, of course, are at the heart of Just Security’s work. On behalf of our entire Just Security team, we would like to express our gratitude to readers for turning to us for coverage and analysis for another year. If Just Security‘s work is meaningful to you, we also invite you to support Just Security with a year-end tax deductible donation of any size.
Democracy and Anti-Authoritarianism
Heading into 2023, we naturally expect that democracy and authoritarianism will continue to feature prominently in the headlines. From questions of accountability and election protection in the United States, to the movement for democracy and rights in Iran, to global authoritarianism trends that intersect with other issues on our pages, these challenges will continue to drive big-picture questions about the future of the global order.
At Just Security, authors have named and assessed the risks of democratic backsliding while also leading the way on solutions-oriented analysis. Here’s a selection of some of what’s appeared in Just Security in the past year:
- Expert analysis of authoritarianism and democracy from leading thinkers around the globe, analyzing global and regional trends and shining a spotlight on countries where democracy is at risk or under threat (from Bosnia, to Haiti, to Tunisia, to Hungary, to name just a few).
- Solutions-oriented series, including The Good Governance Papers: A 2022 “Report Card” Update (building on a previous series focused on “actionable legislative and administrative proposals to restore and promote non-partisan principles of good government, public integrity, and the rule of law”) and our Series on Solutions to Democratic Backsliding.
- Rigorous analysis of issues related to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, with an emphasis on the connection to rule-of-law and democratic institutions, and a January 6 Clearinghouse, updated on an ongoing basis (including a new permanent repository of all deposition transcripts).
Russia’s War Against Ukraine
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine will undoubtedly remain in the headlines in 2023, with the one-year mark of Russia’s full-scale invasion approaching on Feb. 24. President Zelenskyy said in his Dec. 21 speech to a joint session of Congress, “Next year will be a turning point, I know it.” Specific issues to follow in the coming year include developments in war crimes documentation, the application of international humanitarian law, and civilian protection; international justice, reparations, and accountability; and geopolitical consequences of the war for the global order – often, indeed, in ways that intersect with the issues of authoritarianism and democracy discussed above.
Earlier this year, Just Security launched a Russia-Ukraine War Archive, collecting and cataloging the articles we publish on these topics – now approaching 300, with many articles available in Ukrainian. Among these articles:
- Ukrainian authors and interviewees contributed powerful personal perspectives and rigorous analysis, in articles including Justice for the Crime of Aggression Today, Deterrence for the Aggressive Wars of Tomorrow: A Ukrainian Perspective, ‘The Hour These Hostilities Began’: Ukrainians Mobilize to Document War Crimes, Mariupol and the Origins and Avenues of Ukraine’s Transitional Justice Process, Transitional Justice in Ukraine: Guidance to Policymakers, Ukrainian Journalists Are Winning the “Information War” Russia Is Waging Against Ukraine, But They Need Help, Ukraine’s Constitutional Constraints: How to Achieve Accountability for the Crime of Aggression, Ukraine May Mark a Turning Point in Documenting War Crimes, and Insight from Ukraine: Revitalizing Belief in International Law.
- Authors involved in high-level policy discussions launched and rigorously worked through ideas for accountability, reparations, reconstruction, and justice. Such projects include an article Launching an International Claims Commission for Ukraine (followed by Historic UNGA Resolution Calls for Ukraine Reparations), a multi-part series on The Case for Creating a Special Tribunal to Prosecute the Crime of Aggression Committed Against Ukraine, The Absolute Clarity of International Legal Practice’s Rejection of Immunity Before International Criminal Courts, Extend US Leadership on Ukraine to Post-War Reconstruction Too, and more.
- Resources tracking Russia’s Eliminationist Rhetoric Against Ukraine and Countries’ Statements Calling Russian Action in Ukraine “Genocide”.
- A “What You Need to Know” series co-organized with the Reiss Center on Law and Security, presenting brief, digestible Q&As with leading experts on some of the key legal issues presented by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Content Moderation and Other Tech Policy Issues
Twitter’s ownership change grabbed headlines in 2022, and while the legal and policy implications of some of the company’s actions will undoubtedly play an important part in tech policy conversations in 2023, the recent drama also highlights broader, ongoing conversations about content moderation and platform governance, as social media companies otherwise seek to balance their role as widely used public forums with efforts to combat disinformation (including adversarial nation-state information operations) and prevent the spread of hate speech.
Expect content moderation to continue to feature prominently in 2023. On Just Security’s pages, expert authors have engaged with cutting-edge legal questions on governing content moderation – what our Editorial Board member (and Meta Oversight Board member) Julie Owono has termed the emerging “lex platformia” – and often inject a much-needed global perspective into tech policy conversations. More broadly, the struggle between authoritarian and democratic states for control over the structure of internet governance will be a pressing issue to watch in 2023.
Also on our radar in the tech policy world: artificial intelligence and cyber. New technologies and other developments in these domains present urgent questions at the intersection of regulation and ethics, privacy and cybersecurity, surveillance and encryption, counterterrorism, defense policy, and more.
The importance of climate change will only grow in 2023 – both as a critical national security issue on its own and intersecting with other questions of national and international defense, equity and justice, rule of law, and more. Themes to watch include mitigation and adaptation strategies; the intersection of climate change with geopolitics and conflict/peacebuilding; and legal options for holding climate contributors accountable, such as small island states’ efforts at the United Nations and International Court of Justice.
Some key resources from Just Security’s pages:
- In recognition of climate change’s centrality to national security analysis, we launched a Climate Archive cataloging our coverage in easy-to-access (and rapidly-growing) categories such as energy security, geopolitics, human rights, and migration and displacement.
- Tracking COP27: Notable Moments and Key Themes followed the climate negotiations and outcomes, and expert authors analyzed COP27 proceedings, including importantly what comes next.
Just Security’s climate coverage will continue to expand in 2023 and beyond, with voices from the most-affected communities and countries playing a central role.
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In the final few days of 2022, we turn again to an expression of thanks – to our amazing colleagues who help produce Just Security, to our authors who fill the pages with their minds and hearts, and to our readers for trusting in our work and analysis. Next year will mark Just Security’s 10 year anniversary. We begin it with deep appreciation for all who brought us to this point.