Why political settlements matter: launch of Journal of International Development Special Issue

Navigating political settlements - understood as common understandings or agreements, usually among elites, about how resources are distributed and power is exercised - is at the heart of international development efforts to promote more peaceful and inclusive states and societies. On 5 October 2017 the Journal of International Development special issue on political settlements was launched at ODI in London. The event was hosted by co-editors Alina Rocha Menocal (Developmental Leadership Program at the University of Birmingham / ODI) and Jan Pospisil (Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh). 

This special issue brings together a collection of theoretical and empirical contributions that engage critically with the political settlement concept and the question of how to navigate inclusion, with a focus on underlying politics, power and institutional dynamics, and how these influence trajectories of change.

Some of the questions the special issue seeks to address include: What are political settlements? How can political settlements help to better understand processes of state formation, evolving state-society relations, and patterns of inclusion and exclusion? How can a political settlements approach enable international actors to engage more effectively in efforts to foster more peaceful, resilient, and inclusive states?

The event presentations were followed by an open discussion between the panel and stakeholders from academia and policy on the challenges and implications of these findings. 

Chair:  Heather Marquette, Developmental Leadership Program (DLP), University of Birmingham
  • Introduction: Jan Pospisil, Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP)
  • Alina Rocha Menocal, ODI and DLP
  • Christine Bell, PSRP
  • Diana Cammack, ODI
  • Andy Carl, peacebuilding practitioner
  • Charlotte Morris, DFID


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


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