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This paper argues that, despite the promise of ‘political settlements analysis’ (PSA) to provide an explanation as to why conflict occurs and states become fragile or failed, there are disagreements about the scope of PSA, the way it should be used, and very little progress has been made on measurement. Rival disagreements have also challenged PSA’s ability to explain the conditions for successful rehabilitation in conflict affected states, the different developmental pathways to peace, and how to adapt different development policies to country context. Kelsall and vom Hau (2011) attempt to respond to these challenges by proposing a new and revised definition of political settlements. By reviewing existing debates, the authors develop two key dimensions: social foundation and political configuration and create a new typology of political settlements. The paper then draws on this new typology to explore some of the explanatory possibilities the revised concept generates. It concludes by setting out a broader research agenda, providing both methodological and theoretical pointers for how political settlements analysis could be taken forward.