The Stabilisation Unit’s ‘Elite Bargains and Political Deals’ project has sought to provide a more robust evidence base for the UK’s approach to stabilisation and help policy makers deliver more effective interventions in conflict context. It reflects the findings from our synthesis paper which draws on 21 case studies.
The Synthesis Paper draws together the key project findings: this shorter briefing paper provides an overview of the project and its conclusions. The analysis considers the relationship between elite bargains, political settlements and peace agreements, given the degree to which the interactions between all three shape transitions out of conflict. There is a particular emphasis in the report on the importance of the elites and elite bargains, given the important role they play in generating support for reductions in violence and those more formal peace agreements.
It establishes a framework for analysing elite bargains and understanding how external diplomatic, security, economic and transitional justice interventions can affect them and pathways out of violent conflict. It describes the forms of violence that surround bargaining processes, and how resources and rents and degrees of inclusion and exclusion can affect the extent to which bargains ‘stick’. The paper concludes with a summary of the implications for policy and practice.