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Mission and Vision

The UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) is a research network comprised of scholars from across the University of California and the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories that conducts policy-relevant research to mitigate conflict and promote a more peaceful world order. Our focus is on challenges that have the potential to lead to wide-scale conflict, and that can benefit from global cooperation to solve. Our portfolio includes both traditional security issues—defense innovation, strategy and deterrence, nuclear weapons policy, and security cooperation—and emerging and non-traditional challenges such as environmental threats, geoeconomics and great power competition, and threats to democracy. In each of these areas, IGCC builds diverse, multidisciplinary research teams that analyze the causes and consequences of global conflict—and help develop practical solutions.

IGCC’S mission is to use rigorous research, training, and engagement to improve policies and practices in ways that help reduce conflict and improve global cooperation. Ultimately, we want the work we do to contribute to building a safe, more equitable and prosperous world—globally, nationally, and locally. We also strive to prepare young and future scholars, researchers, and policymakers for impactful careers at the intersection of research and policy and to deepen connections and relationships among the UC research community and between the UC research community and government, industry, and civil society.

In everything we do, IGCC values academic and intellectual rigor, and ensuring that research can actually be used by stakeholders outside the academy. We also aim to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by investing in faculty and students from a range of backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives, making sure their voices inform what we do, and by ensuring that our activities and resources are accessible to diverse audiences.

IGCC was established in 1983 out of concern among UC faculty about UC management of the weapons-building nuclear labs. We focused initially on nonproliferation and arms control. Over the years, we have grown our nuclear security work and expanded our portfolio into other areas as conceptions of security have evolved and threats have changed. Following 9/11, for example, as attention to transnational threats from terrorism grew, IGCC supported research on counterterrorism and deterrence. We have woven the role of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence into many of our research projects, since these technologies increasingly promise to reshape the global landscape in ways we cannot foresee. The rise of China prompted our strand on great power competition, exploring a broad array of issues, including geoeconomics, defense innovation, and supply chains. Our newest strand, which builds on historic IGCC work on the environment, will explore a vital gap in social science research: the security implications of climate change, a threat that will impact California, the United States, and the world. IGCC also recently launched an initiative on threats to democratic norms of governance, both in the United States and beyond, and the spread of disinformation.