Global Development Institute Blog

Based upon a decade of ground-breaking research within the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) research centre, Political Settlements and Development: Theory, Evidence, Implications, has been just been published by Oxford University Press. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of political settlements study and is available in Open Access.

At its most ambitious, ‘political settlements analysis’ (PSA) promises to explain why conflicts occur and states collapse, the conditions for their successful rehabilitation, different developmental pathways from peace, and how to better fit development policy to country context.

Political Settlements and Development has three main aims:

  • to argue for a revised definition of a political settlement – one that can unify its diverse strands and open new opportunities for the analysis of conflict and development;
  • to put the concept on a more solid theoretical and scientific footing, providing a method for measuring and categorising political settlements, while using new data to analyse the relationship between political settlements and development;
  • to examine the implications for policymakers.

ESID’s political settlements research explored how politics shapes development across a range of settings and sectors, and set out principles for working politically for inclusive development. Disagreements exist within political settlements analysis, however, over definitions of the term, its scope and the way it should be used. There is a growing schism between conflict specialists and economists, basic concepts are ambiguous and until now, little progress has been made on measurement.

This open access book sets out to address these issues, by presenting innovative conceptual and theoretical advances and introducing new tools for measuring and coding political settlements. It contains a large-N analysis of the political settlements of 42 countries, alongside case studies in Ghana, Guinea, Cambodia, and Rwanda.

The the authors  – including Tim Kelsall, Nicolai Schulz, William D. Ferguson, Matthias vom Hau, Sam Hickey, and Brian Levy – contribute new illustrations and tests of the relationship between political settlements and development; and offer practical advice for reformers and policymakers.




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