Sequencing Peace Agreements and Constitutions in the Political Settlement Process

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Policy points:
• Sequencing political settlement processes matters for successful transitions from conflict to stable constitutional order. In some cases, staged constitution-making processes are necessary.
• Constitution-making processes require public participation but also sufficient elite buy-in to build a political settlement. There is a need to think of wider strategies to support the constitutional discussions and pressures to ensure the agreement-seeking process continue.

Abstract: This paper focuses on sequencing peace agreements and constitutional arrangements within the broader political settlement processes in fragile and conflict affected settings. Political settlements comprise the underlying agreed understandings about how power is to be held and exercised. It is often assumed that there is a specific
sequence to reach a political settlement: typically, a ceasefire or peace agreement that includes (or is followed by) transitional political arrangements or an interim constitution that culminates in some form of long-term constitutional arrangement. According to this assumption, the political settlement is understood to develop as part of the peace and constitution-building process. In practice, matters are likely to be much more complicated. Peace agreements and constitutional arrangements often fail to reflect a broadly shared political settlement, and require further negotiations to resolve conflict and start building sustainable peace.
The paper includes eight key recommendations.

Keywords: Constitutions; Inclusion

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