Report - KPSRL Thematic Headline Discussion 2023

Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
  • The analytical paper summarizes the 2022 Thematic Headline trajectory ‘Reimagine Social Contracts’. It discusses its definition* and explores its use as an analytical tool and an ideal. It recognizes that we need more practical frameworks and tools to operationalize the concept and link it to SRoL topics.
  • The KPSRL network voted to continue unpacking this topic in 2023 in a more operational and thematically focused way: ‘Towards Just Social Contracts’,
    • The subthemes are: (1) Inclusive & Participatory Social Contracts, (2) Authoritarianism & the Security Sector and (3) Resilience to Polarization.
    • To give an example of the first subtheme, Consilient Research presented how their research on the prospective for concrete reforms in the Somali traditional elders justice system connects to the place of the elders in local social contracts.
  • In break-out groups, participants shared research, trends and events that should be on the KPSRL radar to unpack these subthemes and what they would want to learn.
  • KPSRL shared three pathways to participate regarding year’s theme: co-hosting events (see this registration form), conducting a KMF project (call for proposals follows soon) and hosting a session at KPAC23 (call for proposals before the summer).

*As described in the analyical paper: “'Social contract' refers to the process by which people in positions of power (including both formal and informal authorities), and people and organizations challenging for power and social change, make promises to or agreements with society that raise expectations on the exercise of political authority. When these expectations are met, authority is considered across society to be legitimate, which builds consent and cooperation.

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