Multiparty Mediation: Identifying Characteristics of the Mediation Dream Team Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Menninga, Elizabeth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This dissertation explores when and how multiparty mediation can help the prospects for peace in civil wars, considering when additional mediators are desirable and when they are not. While additional mediators can provide positive sources of leverage, they also increase the risk that forum-shopping, mixed messages, or free-riding will hinder the negotiations. I identify three characteristics of mediation efforts expected to improve mediation's chances of success. First, complementary efforts improve the mediation team's ability to respond to challenges at all phases of the resolution process, providing three important sources of leverage: contextual knowledge, economic/military resources, and staying power. Furthermore, complementary efforts reduce the risk of overcrowding by excluding mediators who do not bring a unique source of leverage to the table. Second, balanced mediation efforts include mediators biased toward both sides of the conflict. Each side has a mediator they trust to protect their interests at the negotiating table as well as to protect them if the other side reneges on the agreement. In this way, balanced mediation can help alleviate disputants' security concerns, improving the chances that negotiations are successful. Finally, coordination among the mediators should improve the chances of mediation success by maximizing the ability to take advantage of the additional resources and tools of another mediator while also minimizing the negative consequences of adding a new party to the negotiations. To evaluate these expectations, I employ statistical tests on a set of mediation attempts in civil wars between 1989 and 2005. In these analyses I consider three measures of mediation success: reaching an agreement, overcoming the difficult two-month period post-agreement, and producing a durable peace. In addition to these statistical analyses, I discuss two cases of multiparty mediation: Angola and Mozambique. These cases allow for a clearer look at the dynamics of complementary, balanced, and coordinated mediation during the conflict resolution process.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Crescenzi, Mark J. C.
  • Bapat, Navin
  • Cranmer, Skyler
  • Gent, Stephen
  • Beardsley, Kyle
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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