Navigating Inclusion in Transitions from Conflict: The Formalised Political Unsettlement

Authors: Christine Bell and Jan Pospisil

The project of ensuring that political settlements are inclusive is key to the attempts of negotiating transitions from conflict over the last 25 years. Examining such transitions, we point to the emergence of the ‘formalised political unsettlement’ as a persistent outcome. The formalised political unsettlement translates the disagreement at the heart of the conflict into a set of political and legal institutions for continuing negotiation. As the conditions of its emergence will not change and the formalised political unsettlement may be here to stay, we point to the opportunities for navigating between elite inclusion and broader societal inclusion that it offers.

Policy points:
• Contentious issues at the center of conflicts can become formalised in political and legal institutions that are hard to undo in later negotiations
• There are opportunities for broader inclusion to be explored in this state of ‘formalised political unsettlement’

Published in the Journal of International Development, Special Issue: Political Settlements.

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