Political Settlements

Political settlement refers to the formal and informal process of bargaining between elites as well as between the state and organised groups in society regarding the organising of power. Political settlement underpins state and state-society relations and forms the relationship between formal and informal institutions and the distribution of power in society.

default Building the Wrong Peace: Re-viewing the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor Through a Political Settlement Lens

Author: Sue Ingram
Institution: Australia National University
Publication Date: April 2012
Keywords: Political Settlement, Conflict, Governance, Multi-national/ International Institutions, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping

Relevance:

In October 1999 the United Nations deployed a multi-national peace-keeping force in East Timor to restore peace and security. Over the next two and a half years, the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) oversaw the country’s separation from Indonesia after 24 years of occupation and constructed the organisational framework for a new state. But the author argues that UNTAET failed to nurture an inclusive internal political settlement as the necessary condition for lasting stability. She examines why this issue largely fell under UNTAET’s radar, and how this paved the way for conflicted politics following independence. 

default Introducing Political Settlements

Author: Eric Gutierrez
Institution: Christian Aid
Publication Date: March 2011
Keywords: Political Settlements, Conflict, Gender, Governance, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

This paper makes a case for a political settlements approach to ending poverty. A growing number of donors now recognise the importance of politics in shaping reform processes. But as the paper argues, there is still a failure to develop an operational agenda to improve governance that accounts for this reality. The paper discusses key limitations of conventional “good governance” approaches which have informed donor assistance activities. It then suggests some ways in which a political settlements approach can be incorporated in policy and programme work.

pdf Political Economy Analysis - How to Note

Title: Political Economy Analysis - How to Note
Author:
Department for International Development (DFID)
Institution: Department for International Development (DFID)
Publication Date: 2009
Keywords: Political Settlements, Governance, Economic Recovery

Relevance:

This paper offers a practical approach to seeking political settlements.  Although it is ostensibly about political economy analysis, and aimed at improving the effectiveness of aid, it is directly relevant to political settlements.  The process of going through the actions detailed in this note can help many practitioners in the field better understand the political settlements in the country in which they work.

default Political Settlements

Author: Edwards Law and Adrian Leftwich
Institution: Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham
Publication Date: October 2014
Keywords: Political settlements, conflict, governance, peace process, peace-building

Relevance:

Efforts to improve aid effectiveness have often missed the underlying political dynamics that prevent real change. There is growing recognition that political settlements involving powerful actors can be a significant factor in determining the success or failure of development assistance.

default Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland

Author: Sarah Phillips
Institution: Developmental Leadership Program, University of Birmingham
Publication Date: December 2013
Keywords: Political Settlements, Somalia, Community Engagement, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

Drawing on the contrasting cases of Somaliland and Somalia, this report offers insights into why domestic power struggles in some societies help to lay the foundations for relative political order while in others lead to cycles of political violence.

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

Author: Edward Laws
Institution: University of Birmingham
Publication Date: August 2012
Keywords: Political Settlements, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

The political settlements framework sheds light on new ways for donor actors to address the underlying causes of conflict and political instability and to advance stabilisation and poverty reduction. This paper provides a critical survey of the conceptual definitions of political settlement, elite pacts, and governments of national unity (GNUSs). All of these terms are relatively recent additions to the politics of development literature. The paper’s aim is to suggest the most useful way of understanding the meaning of these terms.

default Political Settlements: Implications for International Development Policy and Practice

Author: Thomas Parks and William Cole
Institution: Asia Foundation
Publication Date: July 2010
Keywords: Political Settlements, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

There is growing recognition that “aid effectiveness” reforms, which focus on operational-level issues such as improving management, evaluation and project design, are failing to engage with underlying political dynamics that prevent real change in conflict and fragile situations. The line of thinking developed in this report is that a key reason behind this failing is that the roles of powerful actors who use their influence to prevent change are not being adequately addressed in aid programmes.

default Promoting inclusion in political settlements: a priority for international actors?

Author: Clare Castillejo
Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center
Publication Date: March 2014
Keywords: Political Settlements, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

Inclusiveness in political settlements is increasingly accepted as a critical requirement for a sustainable exit from conflict. Drawing on lessons from three countries – Rwanda, Guatemala and Nepal – this report discusses the role that international actors can and do play in supporting political settlements and the challenges and dilemmas they face in doing so.

pdf The Politics of Poverty: Elites, Citizens and States

Title: The Politics of Poverty: Elites, Citizens and States
Author: DFID Research and Evidence Division
Institution: Department for International Development
Publication Date: 2010
Keywords: Political Settlement, Governance

Relevance:

This paper looks at the importance of understanding political dynamics in order to ensure development can happen.  Based on evidence and research carried out from 2001-2010, the paper explores the importance of constructing interventions based on understanding the local and national contexts and the challenges donors face as a consequence.  There is a focus on the difficulties within fragile and failed states and on the importance of understanding the incentive structures of key interlocutors.

default Toward Effective Violence Mitigation: Transforming Political Settlements

Author: Markus Schultze-Kraft and Scott Hinkle
Institution: Institute of Development studies
Publication Date: December 2014
Keywords: Political Settlements, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding

Relevance:

This report examines how the ‘new’ forms of violence in the developing world – as opposed to more ‘traditional’ civil or intra-state wars – should be understood and addressed. It draws on evidence from four violence-affected countries in Africa: Nigeria (Niger Delta), Sierra Leone, Egypt and Kenya (Marsabit County). The report places emphasis on the transformation of political settlements to prevent or mitigate violence, contrasting this approach with more traditional peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction interventions that operate on the basis of established blue-prints for institutional recovery and governance reform.

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