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Building peace from the grassroots level: Under what conditions do mediators contribute to the ending of armed conflict in fragilestate?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Obviously, inside mediation through individuals or institutions emerged from the conflict situations becomes an alternative way to end armed conflict as it is regarded to have more local legitimacy with a higher sense of ownership. Surprisingly, researchers in peace and conflict studies have shown more interest to mediation processes dominated by outside mediators, while little has been known about the conditions that contribute to success of inside mediators. This thesis aims to contribute to this understudied research field by answering the question; under what conditions do mediators contribute to the ending of armed conflict in fragile states? In this thesis, I focus on the role of customary leaders, a form of inside mediators.

The point of departure of this research question will be the distinction between the mediator’s involvements (Inside vs outside) and how their presence contribute to different outcomes. The variances will be explained with reference to two contending concepts of success and failure of mediation process. Success of mediators’ involvement can be measured by focusing on the following three areas; the initiation of peace process, conclusion of peace process and the sustainability of peace outcomes. The causal argument suggest that mediation processes dominated by inside mediators are more likely to end armed conflicts, as they have  more local legitimacy that can  engender a higher level of ownership, and sustain peace agreements as the actors feel engaged to the peace process.

By testing this theory, this thesis applies the structured focused comparison method by selecting three cases of Southern, northwest and northeast regions in Somalia that have developed differently. The empirical findings of this thesis supports the hypothesis testes, as mediation processes dominated by inside mediators in Northeast and Northwest regions displayed a higher level of local ownership and legitimacy than the Southern regions. Finally, further researches on inside mediators success in a different countries is suggested in the future in order to know the level of inside mediators’ effectiveness in ending armed conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 64 p.
Keyword [en]
Armed conflict, Inside mediators, Outside mediators, Durable peace, legitimacy, Local ownership
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294496OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294496DiVA: diva2:930106
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Available from: 2016-09-20 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-09-23Bibliographically approved

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