Mediation with muscle: understanding when mediators commit resources to civil war negotiations
Caplan, Michael D.
Warren, T. Camber
Gartner, Scott Sigmund
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Practitioners and scholars have sought to enhance their understanding of how to end civil wars through negotiations, as these conflicts have become increasingly common since WWII. This study argues that mediators might use their resources or influence to incentivize or coerce the warring sides to consider negotiated resolution. The concept of an incentive-based mediation strategy suggests mediators can put skin in the game to facilitate negotiation or settlement. Statistical analysis demonstrates that inter-governmental organizations, such as the United Nations, are more likely to use these incentive strategies and that mediators use these strategies in countries considered neither democracies nor autocracies. These findings can inform policymakers how to leverage power and capability to facilitate negotiations in seemingly intractable civil war conflicts.
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