Global Justice Academy awarded £4.4m DFID grant

The University’s Global Justice Academy has been awarded a multi-million pound research programme award to explore how countries affected by conflict can successfully and peacefully rebuild their societies.

The £4.4m research award from the UK Department for International Development will look at how political settlements work in different countries and how they can be improved to include all citizens.

Political settlements are a society’s underlying power dynamics that determine how political and socio-economic privileges are assigned.

A key objective of the Political Settlements Research Programme is to inform and promote more effective national and international development policies for fragile states and to ultimately support people to build more stable and effective institutions, reduce poverty, and prevent violence.

The Global Justice Academy is leading a group of five academic and NGO institutions working across several continents, and in particular in Africa.

Professor Christine Bell from Edinburgh Law School will lead the global consortium, which also includes: Conciliation Resources; the Rift Valley Institute in the UK, Kenya and South Sudan; the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University; and the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa.

We are really honoured to have been awarded this programme and to be working with these partners," says Professor Bell.

"We hope to harness the power and expertise of these organisations to address the critical dilemma at the heart of this programme: how to reconcile the need for agreement between political-military leaders if violent conflict is to end, with the need to meet people’s broader inclusion, equality and justice demands if long-term peace and development is to be meaningful and sustained.”

The programme will involve Professor Fiona Mackay, Professor Tobias Kelly, Dr Mathias Thaler, and Dr Zoe Marks from the School of Social and Political Science.

Find out more about the Political Settlements research programme.