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Peacemaking Up Close: Explaining Mediator Styles of International Mediators
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Scholarly work on international mediation suggests that how third parties mediate influences the resolution of armed conflicts. However, our understanding of what explains mediator style is limited. This dissertation addresses this gap by offering the first systematic study on explanations for mediator styles at the level of the individual. It explores the research question: what explains mediator styles of individuals mediating for peacemaking organizations in armed conflicts? Mediator style is studied as themes in goals and behaviors along two dimensions: directiveness and orientation. Directiveness covers a mediator's use of leverage and varies from non-directive to directive, while orientation covers a mediator's prioritized type of outcome and varies from relationship-oriented to settlement-oriented. The dissertation develops a theoretical framework on the effects of conflict context and mediator characteristics on mediator style. It formulates a set of theoretical expectations concerning how context in the form of conflict intensity, and characteristics such as the mediator's background profile and personality, influence mediator style. The framework is evaluated and developed based on the findings of a mixed-method design combining a survey experiment and 46 semi-structured in-depth interviews with a broad variety of IGO and NGO mediators. The results on context suggest that high-intensity conflicts make mediators on average more directive than low-intensity conflicts as a result of heightened humanitarian concerns. Furthermore, on characteristics, high-profile mediators are shown to be overall more settlement-oriented than low-profile mediators as a result of their views on conflict causes and mediator accountabilities. These findings are complemented with evidence for contingent relationships between conflict intensity, mediator personality and directiveness as well as conflict intensity, mediator profile and orientation. The study thus contributes with a refined understanding of the mediator styles of international mediators that both facilitates its further scholarly exploration and provides input to the practice of peacemaking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University , 2016. , 172 p.
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 112
Keyword [en]
mediator, mediation, mediator style, negotiation, armed conflict, peace, IGO, NGO, survey experiment, interviews
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300488ISBN: 978-91-506-2590-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300488DiVA: diva2:954426
Public defence
2016-10-07, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2016-09-16

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