Political settlements workshop

17 June 2015, Bangkok 

Over the past decade, there has been growing recognition that the challenge of development, be it justice and security, or growth, or the effective delivery of basic services, is not so much what needs to be done but how it is done. It is about the processes that facilitate or obstruct change. This has placed the need to understand politics and institutional dynamics at the centre of current thinking and practice in international development – and with it the concept of the 'political settlement'.

But what are political settlements, and how can they help us understand processes of state formation, including evolving state-society relations, patterns of inclusion and exclusion, and prospects for political, social and economic transformation? Importantly, how can a political settlements approach enable donors to engage more effectively in efforts to foster progressive change? 

This one-day high-level workshop brought together researchers, policy-makers and practitioners who are actively working on this area. Drawing on the expertise in the room, participants examined more deeply contributions to academic and policy research and experiences of translating this research into practice in-country. The aim was to tackle tough questions about the challenges that arise from this, and collectively set out some concrete and innovative ways to address them.

Researchers, policymakers and practitioners shared their reflections on the day and on current thinking about political settlements:

Political settlements: people and the landscapes of power Alan Whaites (OECD-DAC)

DLP political settlements workshop: reflections Astrid Jamar (University of Edinburgh)

Two remarkable transitions: lessons from Oman and Somaliland Sarah Phillips (University of Sydney)

Indonesia and the political settlements trap Graham Teskey (DFAT)

What do we do on Monday? Political settlements in theory and practice Edward Laws

Inclusive political settlements: who and what gets included, and how? Alina Rocha Menocal (DLP)

See the workshop programme here.

The workshop was organised by DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal, who leads DLP's workstream on Political Settlements and the Politics of Inclusion, and is on secondment from ODI.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more


New article - To Boldly Know: Knowledge, Peacekeeping and Remote Data Gathering in Conflict-Affected States

Thursday 12th October 2017

In this article in the Journal of International Peacekeeping, DLP researcher Suda Perera critically evaluates crowdsourcing's uses and abuses, and warns against an over-reliance on remotely gathered conflict data.

Read more

Why political settlements matter

Thursday 5th October 2017

Join us on 5 Oct 2017 at ODI (10-11:30am) to discuss the research featured in a special issue of The Journal of International Development co-edited by Alina Rocha Menocal (DLP and ODI) and Jan Pospisil (Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh).

Read more

Follow: @dlprog