New report launched by British Academy with PSRP Programme Director

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Professor Christine Bell, Programme Director of the Political Settlements Research Programme at the Global Justice Academy, is lead author in a major new report launched today by the British Academy in London.

The British Academy report, Navigating Inclusion in Peace Settlements: Human Rights and the Creation of the Common Good, points to the need for politically smarter approaches to the implementation of human rights in fragile and conflict-affected states.

The report addresses the ways in which peace processes in conflict situations have run aground in many contexts leading to renewed violence.  It argues that while peace settlements are usually successful in resolving immediate violence, they often produce compromises between parties to the conflict. This can lead to an uncertain peace in which the root causes of the conflict are not resolved but are carried into the new political and legal institutions.

The report draws on research from, and also contributes to, the PSRP, with members from the PSRP team co-authoring sections of the report. The PSRP team produced a series of working papers and case studies that fed directly into the development of the report.

With a focus on the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal and Burundi, the report recommends a more political approach to human rights implementation; one which takes account of both the challenges and the opportunities of post-agreement environments.

Professor Bell said, “As we debate the tragedy of terrorist attacks in the UK, understanding how deeply divided societies manage their deep disagreements so as to resolve and prevent conflict is very important.  The UK has played a major role in supporting peace processes at home and abroad, and important lessons can be learnt from this experience. In the last few years, global conflict having dropped since the end of the cold war, is on the rise again.  This report talks about ways in which protection of human rights play a role in ensuring an inclusive peace and a society with a common commitment to the common good.


  1. The full report, with recommendations, is available for download here:
  2. The report was launched at an International Conference on the theme of global justice in London on 6th June, which PSRP researchers have helped convene, that brought together researchers, policymakers and practitioners from the UK and overseas.
  3. Professor Christine Bell is the lead author of this report. She is Assistant Principal (Global Justice) and Co-Director of the Global Justice Academy at the University of Edinburgh. She is also Programme Director of the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), part of the Global Justice Academy at the University of Edinburgh.
  4. This report draws on research from, and also contributes to, the PSRP. Sections of this report were co-authored with Dr Rachel Anderson, Robert Forster, Dr Max Jaede, Dr Astrid Jamar, Sean Molloy, Dr Jan Pospisil, Dr Asanga Welikala, and Laura Wise, all of whom are researchers associated with the Political Settlements Research Programme.


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