Justice, Rights and Equality: In Search of the Common Good in an Era of Transition

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Policy points:
• There are opportunities for negotiating inclusion during political resettlement processes; political settlement outcomes and the materialisation phase of a political settlement.
• These sites also offer possibilities and tensions when considering the role of human rights in times of transition.

Abstract: The concept of political settlements was introduced in the last decade in debates on state reform. The purpose was to shift away from technical and state-centric approaches to international support in favour of interventions that reflect and attempt to better understand the relationship of politics to both conflict and peace. This paper reviews existing literature on the emerging concept of political settlements in order to illustrate the various ways that the concept is understood, the implications of exclusionary political settlements on conflict and peace, and the opportunities and tensions that arise for moving from exclusive to inclusive political settlements. The paper concludes by asking what role human rights might play in transitions from exclusive to inclusive political settlements.

Keywords: Concepts, Political Settlements; Inclusion; Human Rights; Process; Outcomes; Materialisation.

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