Key mediation attributes, such as mediating actors, the strategy they choose, and previous mediation experiences, are widely thought to influence the nature of a conflict management outcome. But how and when these features shape outcomes is not a straightforward matter, and a standard analysis of these factors does not lead to their widely anticipated results. Why? We develop a new analytical framework that argues that a dispute's intensity alters the conflict management processes. Furthermore, in order to observe this variation, we also need to expand the traditional, dichotomous notion of conflict management outcomes (success or failure) to include a fuller range of observed results. Using the most recent International Conflict Management data set and our new analytical framework, we analyze the effect on conflict management outcome of mediator (a) identity, (b) strategy and (c) history. We find that directive strategies and international mediators are effective in resolving high intensity conflicts, procedural strategies and regional mediators are effective in resolving low intensity conflicts, and that mediation history always affects resolution. Our results have implications for both the study and practice of international dispute mediation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations