Although primarily designed as a research endeavor, this political settlement intends to be highly practice and policy-oriented. The democratic business not only investigates the subject-matter of inclusivity but also strives to practice it by conducting participatory research with local institutional partners and where possible and relevant, by engaging (previously) excluded and marginalized actors as “insider experts”.

Through field work, the project partners seek to answer the following questions:

•Under which conditions do participatory negotiation and decision-making processes over the (re)negotiation of a new political settlement after a civil war lead to inclusive state-building outcomes?

•What are the specific roles of formerly armed power contenders throughout these transitions – from their mobilization in contexts of weak and exclusive governance on behalf of marginalized constituencies and their direct participation in negotiation and dialogue platforms over state reform and post-war governance to the challenges of implementing representative, democratic and responsive policies?

•What is the impact of inclusive political settlement in terms of enhancing (or impeding) legitimacy, accountability, effectiveness, empowerment, stability and trust-building in peace/state-building processes?

•What are the best practices for international mediation and post-war assistance, to support locally-led and inclusive peace/state-building processes?