For social contract page© UNDP Tunisia / Jamel Haouas

Social Contract Research

The Oslo Governance Centre's globally focussed research has also been on how violent conflict can be prevented and peace sustained through the forging of sustainable social contracts.

For this, since 2016, OGC has partnered on research on ‘the realities of social contract making’ in 12 transitional countries, in partnership with a group of national experts, led by the New School, New York. The project is ongoing, but the research will be finalised soon and findings disseminated in 2017.

Overall, this research project aims to revitalize the social contract concept as an actionable idea for achieving and sustaining peace, notably in countries affected by conflict and fragility. The country case studies and subsequent comparative analysis and dialogue will help explain how national social contracts are understood, manifest and adapted in different contexts and help advance the policy and practice pathways for achieving and sustaining peace.

The project is supported by a renowned group of scholar and policy advisers, and authors from the countries in focus: Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Cyprus, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

This project is a partnership involving the UNDP’s OGC working with the Julian J. Studley Fund of the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Berlin and New York. The project has also received the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Award.

For more information about the project please visit the project website at:

Past events on social contract research

social contract meeting

Forging Resilient National Social Contracts: Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace. Reflecting on Early Findings and Policy Implications 

This meeting took place on November 1st. It was part of a twelve-country research and policy dialogue project that aims to revitalize the social contract concept in contexts affected by conflict and fragility, to advance policy and practice for preventing violent conflict and achieving and sustaining peace. This meeting was the first in a series of policy dialogues designed to reflect on the emerging findings, and policy and practice implications of the work and how they offer new and innovative thinking, and/or reinforce existing knowledge and insight, to inform more effective and impactful policy and practice around the notion of resilient social contracts and their contributions to preventing conflict and sustaining peace.    


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