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Borderlands and Political Settlements


This work strand will explore the ‘lived’ political settlement experienced at border areas in contexts in conflict or emerging from conflict.  Border areas are often ‘ungoverned’, marginalised spaces and may be sites for securitisation during and post-conflict. The work aims to explore how the priorities of those living in border regions relate to central state-building projects, and understand how particular interests affect the security, economic, and political activity of border populations. It will include looking beyond state-delineated borders to understand cross border relations as possible more immediate sources of economic and social security. In contrast to political economy analysis, the work explores how bargaining processes are shaped as much by local understandings of legitimacy and authority as by the provision or denial of material resources, mediated through particular institutional arrangements.


Project methodology will be active and participatory, based on working with local partners and documenting and illustrating case studies in three different border-land settings, drawing on Conciliation Resources’ project work in West, East and Central Africa. The Nepal/Afghanistan research model will be followed, namely, participatory assessment of project research on sub-national political settlements, including a joint stakeholder analysis workshop; first hand documentation of the three case studies, production and dissemination of a high quality Accord issue.


This project is important to addressing the relationship between national, sub-national and regional conflicts and political settlements, complementing the analysis from Project 5.3 on Ethiopia/Ogaden.


Jonathan Cohen, Zahbia Yousuf, and Alexander Ramsbottom (Conciliation Resources)



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Photo: Martina Bacigalupo/Vu

Details :
  • Author : Harriet Cornell
  • Category : Case Studies, Comparative, Ethiopia-Ogaden
  • Date : July 16, 2015
  • Tags : Borderlands