Political settlements

When less is more: external assistance and the political settlement in Somaliland

Sarah G Phillips

This article uses a political settlement framework to explore the configuration of power that underpinned the establishment and maintenance of peace in Somaliland. It explores the ways in which the country's isolation fostered mutual dependence between powerful political and economic actors for their survival and prosperity, and challenges underlying assumptions of western ...» more

State-society relations and citizenship

2° ATO Belo Horizonte

State-society relations, citizenship and socio-political cohesion are areas of great importance to statebuilding and peacebuilding and are crucial to an integrated approach. State-society relations are defined by DFID as ‘interactions between state institutions and societal groups to negotiate how public authority is exercised and how it can be influenced by people. They are ...» more

Governance and inequality: Benchmarking and interpreting South Africa’s evolving political settlement

Brian Levy; Alan Hirsch; & Ingrid Woolard

Has South Africa’s political settlement provided a constructive platform for successfully addressing the country’s deep-seated economic challenges in an inclusive way? This paper argues that the country’s stark inequality is a major cause of the increased pressure on maintaining its political settlement. It re-examines the foundations of South Africa’s democracy in an attempt ...» more

Political settlements and the politics of inclusion

Alina Rocha Menocal

What are political settlements and why are they now at the centre of donor efforts to foster more peaceful and effective states and societies? This paper draws on academic and grey literature to examine political settlements and processes of state formation and political, social and economic transformation. Analysing available research, the paper finds that, at least in the ...» more

The legitimacy of states and armed non-state actors

Somalia (UN Photo/Stuart Price)

Legitimacy is a crucial aspect of all power relations. Without legitimacy, power is exerted through coercion; with legitimacy, power can be exerted through voluntary or quasi-voluntary compliance. Legitimacy lies at the core of state-citizen relationships and thus of the whole state-building agenda. This Topic Guide explores the meaning of legitimacy in relation to state and ...» more

Strengthening social justice to address intersecting inequalities post-2015

Veronica Paz Arauco et al.

The people most likely to be left behind by development are those facing 'intersecting inequalities', or economic deficits intersecting with discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of identity and locational disadvantage. The experiences and relative successes of seven countries reviewed in this report suggest that there are a small number of 'key ingredients' required to ...» more

Undercurrents of Violence: Why Sierra Leone’s Political Settlement is not Working

Jeremy Allouche

Sierra Leone’s current political settlement is highly influenced by the externally imposed peace agreement that ended the civil war in 2001. Prior to this, there had been several unsuccessful attempts at establishing a new political settlement between the country’s various elites. Following the attacks by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) soldiers on UN peacekeeping forces in ...» more

Investigating the links between political settlements and inclusive development in Uganda: towards a research agenda

Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, Sam Hickey

This paper identifies the main political and political economy drivers of development in Uganda today. It starts from the premise that the ‘political settlement’ forged among the most powerful groups in society shapes the capacity and commitment of governments to deliver development. Building on recent investigations into the politics of development in Uganda, this paper ...» more

Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland

Sarah Phillips

This paper asks why large scale violence was resolved in the internationally unrecognised ‘Republic of Somaliland’ but not in the rest of Somalia. The case of Somaliland offers insights into why some domestic power struggles – including violent ones – build the foundations for relative political order while others perpetuate cycles of economic malaise and political violence. ...» more

Citizens’ role in political settlements

Political settlement literature focuses predominantly on elites, with citizens often seen as passive beneficiaries or potential spoilers. However, emerging literature on the role of civil society in peace processes identifies roles that citizens have played and can play, in creating and maintaining what are essentially political settlements. This report outlines the concept of ...» more

State fragility in the Central African Republic: What prompted the 2013 coup?

In March 2013 a coalition of rebel groups – Séléka – led a violent coup in the Central African Republic (CAR), ousting the former President François Bozizé from ten years in power and instating the new President Michel Djotodia. CAR is now in the midst of a deepening humanitarian and economic crisis, compounded by violence and widespread human rights violations. This rapid ...» more

Political Settlements, Elite Pacts, and Governments of National Unity: A Conceptual Study

Edward Laws

How should political settlements be defined and understood? How should elite pacts and governments of national unity (GNUs) be defined and understood? The concept of the 'political settlement' has been used in a variety of subtly, but significantly, different ways. Sometimes it has been used interchangeably with 'elite pacts', 'elite bargains' or 'peace agreements'. This paper ...» more

Political Settlements: Implications for International Development Policy and Practice

Thomas Parks, William Cole

This paper presents a 'political settlements framework' that involves consideration of political settlements in conflict-affected and fragile areas; of how settlements are maintained; of how they change; of their historical evolution; and of settlements at subnational levels. It suggests that development organisations need to use such analysis to adapt their strategies. These ...» more

Renegotiating the Political Settlement in War-to-Peace Transitions

Catherine Barnes

What are the impacts of political settlements on creating peace? What is the best way to support peace processes to produce inclusive and robust political settlements? This paper explores issues around the renegotiation of the political settlement within war-to-peace transitions. During such transitions there are opportunities to shift the terms of the political settlement. To ...» more

Political settlements

Why do similar sets of formal institutions often have such divergent outcomes? An analysis of political settlements goes some way to answering this question by bringing into focus the contending interests that exist within any state, which constrain and facilitate institutional and developmental change. It provides a framework to analyse how the state is linked to society and ...» more