A BASIC QUESTION IS HOW POLITICS ARE TAMED AND CEASE BEING A deadly, warlike affair. The most dramatic way is through sudden, deliberate and lasting compromises of core disputes among political elites – what we think of as ‘elite settlements’. Prior to settlements elites disagree about government institutions, engage in unchecked fights for dominance, and view politics as winner-take-all. After settlements, elite persons and groups continue to be affiliated with conflicting parties, movements, and beliefs, but they share a consensus about government institutions and the codes and rules of political competition. Settlements tame politics by generating tacitly accommodative and overtly restrained practices among competing political elites.
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