A PSRP report on political settlements has been quoted in an opinion piece on the Afghan peace process: Will political factions in Afghanistan come to terms with each other? The article, written by Yasmeen Aftab Ali in the Daily Times, makes a case for establishing inclusive power-sharing arrangements that work towards achieving sustainable peace.
Published in Feburary 2021 at the beginning of United States President Joseph Biden’s term in office, the author cautions the Biden administration against focusing peace negotiations solely on the Taliban, as doing so risks exacerbating conflict by ignoring core issues and excluding key stakeholders. Instead, the author argues that peacebuilders must agree on a power-sharing approach that works for inclusive, sustainable peace by balancing conflicting demands and including the armed forces, civil society, and other stakeholders in the peace process. The piece stresses the importance of acknowledging existing divisions between political cultures and social groups, and the variables that divide and connect them, and using this as a springboard for peace initiatives.
The paper suggests the Biden administration pursue a two-pronged strategy of first acheiving a peace agreement, followed by a longer-term peace settlement. Here the author refers to a 2015 PSRP working paper by Professor Christine Bell, What We Talk About When We Talk About Political Settlements, which sets out that power-sharing arrangements are never fixed, but are continually being renegotiated and evolving.