Political Settlements Research Programme


International partners and networks

Political Settlements Research Programme

Our research is centrally focused on how peace processes attempt to revise political settlements to make them more inclusive, so as to end violent conflict. In particular we are interested in two forms of inclusion:

• forms of ‘horizontal’ inclusion between political and military leaders who have been former opponents, and
• forms of vertical inclusion between rulers (often in the form of new power-sharing coalitions), and the ruled (wider social groups and individuals)

A tension often exists between an elite bargain necessary to ending a violent conflict (horizontal inclusion), and a broader social contract capable of providing for good government (vertical inclusion). Through a series of projects the research team comprised of a North-South Consortium of five organisations are using mixed methodologies to explore how actors within conflict societies and international interveners navigate through this tension.

How do they navigate inclusion? What types of trade-offs between different forms of inclusion do they encounter? How do and should they approach these trade-offs? What strategies do they use? How can pacts to end conflict, be broadened into more widely inclusive social contracts?