The research programme involves a new academic-practitioner, North-South Consortium of organisations, led by the University of Edinburgh’s Global Justice Academy (GJA) and has been awarded a research contract (£4.4 million) from the Department for International Development (DFID) to explore political settlements in fragile and conflict affected states.
The consortium members are: GJA, University of Edinburgh; Conciliation Resources; Rift Valley Institute; Institute for Security Studies; and the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University.
This exciting four-year project will look at how political settlements work in different countries, and the ways in which they can be enable forms of inclusion beyond political elites.
A key objective of the programme is to inform more effective national and international development policies in and on fragile and conflict-affected states. Ultimately the research aims to support people to build more stable and effective institutions, reduce poverty, and prevent violence. The consortium’s expertise provides an opportunity to look at how peace processes and peace agreements intersect with political settlements, and so promote more integrated conflict resolution, peacebuilding and development strategies.
The programme will address three broad research questions:
1. How do different types of political settlement emerge, and what are the actors, institutions, resources, and practices that shape them?
2. How can political settlements be improved by internally-driven initiatives, including the impact of gender-inclusive processes and rule of law institutions?
3. How, and with what interventions, can external actors change political settlements?
To do this, the Programme is structured around six inter-related work streams:
1. Conceptualising Political Settlements
2. Political Settlements and Armed Conflict
3. Political Settlements and Peace Processes
4. Political Settlements and Gender
5. Strategies for Transformation
6. Defining and Measuring Transformation