Research

The research is inspired by the question: what drives a resilient social contract in countries affected by conflict and fragility? Comparative findings aim to elucidate how the social contract manifests, adapts to, and is understood in different contexts.

The research investigates three “drivers” of a resilient social contract that have been developed through a deep examination of the relevant bodies of literature and subject to extensive discussion with the project team of advisers.

Full Report

Project and Document Summary ‘Forging Resilient Social Contracts: Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace’ is an 11-country research and policy dialogue project that aims to revitalise the social contract amidst conflict and fragility and to advance policy and practice for preventing violent conflict and for achieving and sustaining peace. The comparative findings provide evidence and insight into what drives social contracts that are inclusive and resilient, and how they manifest and adapt in different contexts, transcending what are often unsustainable, ephemeral elite bargains into more inclusive ones, with durable arrangements for achieving and sustaining peace. The project involves international scholars, policy advisers and authors from the countries examined: Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Cyprus, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe. The project activities took place from 2016 to mid 2018 and include case research in these countries, a series of policy and scholarly dialogues and this summary. This Full Report (with Cases) introduces the project context,

2018-12-10T22:09:49-04:00

Unsettled Zimbabwe: The Quest for a Resilient Social Contract

Project and Document Summary This briefing provides a summary analysis of findings from a Zimbabwe case study of an 11-country research and dialogue project that examines what drives a resilient national social contract in countries affected by conflict, fragility, or with unresolved political settlements. The research argues that Zimbabwe’s attempts at political settlement have failed to address core issues driving conflict emanating from the colonial rule. They have also failed to provide an inclusive basis for a nationally owned social contract. Policy recommendations suggest critical pathways towards this end, including transforming Zimbabwe’s deep state and related institutions, harnessing Zimbabwe’s resilience capacities and strengthening social cohesion. This case study and overarching 11-country research and policy dialogue project is informed by a conceptual framing and methodology that investigates what drives a resilient national social contract – that is, a dynamic national agreement between state and society, including different groups in society, on how to live together. Such a contract includes the distribution and exercise of power, and how different demands, conflict

2018-12-10T19:03:41-04:00

Study Framing Document

Executive Summary This working paper makes a case for rethinking the social contract concept in the contemporary era, in countries affected by conflict and/or fragility. Inspired by policy efforts to rethink the concept as a means to better address the challenges of peacebuilding and statebuilding, the paper aims to theoretically ground the topic and offer a heuristic framing that supports the evolution of scholarship, policy and practice. It is laid out in the following sections: Introduction: This section sets the context, pointing to the deep challenges undermining the state from above, transnationally and below. It highlights limitations of policy efforts in areas of peacebuilding and statebuilding to address these and the scholarly critiques surrounding their strategic design and delivery –all of which suggest the need for greater focus on the social contract. Enduring themes of the social contract: Historical and contemporary theorising efforts are scanned and their limitations assessed, making a case for the concept’s rich applicability across

2018-12-10T19:01:40-04:00

Phase 1 Summary Findings

Project and Document Summary ‘Forging Resilient Social Contracts: Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace’ is an 11-country research and policy dialogue project that aims to revitalise the social contract amidst conflict and fragility and to advance policy and practice for preventing violent conflict and for achieving and sustaining peace. The comparative findings provide evidence and insight into what drives social contracts that are inclusive and resilient, and how they manifest and adapt in different contexts, transcending what are often unsustainable, ephemeral elite bargains into more inclusive ones, with durable arrangements for achieving and sustaining peace. The project involves international scholars, policy advisers and authors from the countries examined: Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Cyprus, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe.  This Summary Findings Report introduces the project context, the project’s research framing, and findings from nine of the 11 case studies. Numerous validation workshops and policy dialogues in the case study countries and elsewhere inform the findings.

2019-06-10T18:01:34-04:00

Discussion Document on Early Summary Findings

Project and Document Summary “Forging Resilient National Social Contracts” is a twelve-country research and policy dialogue project that aims to revitalise the social contract concept in contexts affected by conflict and fragility, in order to advance policy and practice for preventing violent conflict and achieving and sustaining peace. The comparative findings aim to elucidate how the social contract manifests, adapts to, and is understood in different contexts. The project is supported by an esteemed group of scholars, policy advisers, and authors from the countries examined: Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Cyprus, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe. The project activities taking place from 2016-2018 include twelve country case studies and a series of policy and scholarly dialogues. They will culminate in a series policy papers on cross-cutting and critical themes emerging from the research, a scholarly book focused on the case studies, and policy-oriented publications on assessing and forging resilient national social contracts, to

2018-12-10T19:02:05-04:00

Bellagio Workshop and Report

Document and Event Summary Click above to download the full report. We are in the process of making our reports more interactive. Please check back soon for updated features. From February 26-March 3, 2017 the Project Working Group met in Bellagio, Italy, to reflect upon research progress and challenges, research methodology, areas of convergence and specificity within and across cases, and strategies to maximise scholarly and policy impact. The workshop commenced with a presentation and discussion on the framing of the study. This was followed by case study authors presenting their progress, and in some cases, early findings, and discussion around these. Project Director, Dr Erin McCandless, outlined the project framing, including the key questions and propositions driving the inquiry. The comparative findings aim to elucidate how the social contract manifests, adapts to,

2018-12-10T19:02:28-04:00