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KPSRL Thematic Headline 2023: Towards Just Social Contracts - An explanation of the thematic headline and how to contribute!


   Deepening three sub-themes of the social contract on a more operational level

In 2022, the KPSRL network explored the Thematic Headline ‘Reimagine Social Contracts’. The discussions, research projects, and recommendations are bundled in an analytical paper.

As this analytical paper shows, discussions all but concluded. The KPSRL community has voted to deepen this conversation in 2023 with a focus on operationalizing the concept for practical purposes. After reimagining what could be, 2023 will be dedicated to learning how Security & Rule of Law (SRoL) support can strengthen social contracts in that imagined direction. To focus the new trajectory, the KPSRL Secretariat proposes three tracks to guide contributions from the KPSRL network.

This short document presents the guiding tracks, process, and practical information on how to contribute to the trajectory.


Guiding Tracks

  • Participatory and inclusive social contracts
  • Authoritarian social contracts and the security sector
  • Resilience to polarization



The 2023 trajectory will unfold through a series of open webinars events April and October 2023, the programme of the Annual Conference 2023 in October 2023, a window of the Knowledge Management Fund, and the drafting of an analytical paper at the end of the year to bring together the insights of the

1. Events take different forms. Usually, a lead speaker or panel of speakers introduce a topic, experience, or method for discussion and then open the floor for discussion with participants (but other models are possible and welcome). We expect events to delve deeper into the three subthemes above. For example, the Secretariat is planning an event on polarization dynamics in Eastern Europe, the Dutch feminist foreign policy, and the experience of social protest movements in hybrid regimes. We welcome your proposals for additional events (see practical information below).

2. At the Annual Conference 2023, the stage will be yours for one entire day to present and absorb insights and reflections relevant to the three guiding themes. The Secretariat will release a call for conference sessions in the upcoming weeks.

3. Through our Knowledge Management Fund, we seek to support reflective and practical learning initiatives with up to EUR 20,000 in funding, particularly those taking place in FCAS and/or societies that are in the process of (de/re)constructing their social contract. The Secretariat will also release a call for conference sessions in the upcoming weeks.

4. Finally, following the Annual Conference, we plan to take stock of all insights generated during 2023, with a focus on highlights concrete guidance to operationalize the social contract concept into use.


Practical information on proposing events for the social contract trajectory

You can propose to host an event session for the KPSRL network by submitting this form by 8 May, 2023. The KPSRL Secretariat will be happy to support you in shaping the agenda and connecting with additional panelists or speakers. We are especially interested in events to be organized in partner countries in the Global South, and have reserved a small fund to support costs made (e.g. the venue) for those events. To take a look at a preview of the webform before starting, please click here.

Follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn for upcoming announcements related to the Knowledge Management Fund and our Annual Conference, and feel free to reach out with your initiatives, contributions and ideas.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail


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