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Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall

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Chester A. Crocker, Fen O. Hampson and Pamela Aall

This chapter explores the relationship between the changing geopolitical environment on the one hand, and the emerging structure of contemporary conflict on the other. It identifies developments at both the local conflict level and the international geopolitical level that complicate the field of mediation. At the geopolitical level, mediatory cooperation is less likely to occur. At the conflict level, party fragmentation poses obstacles to the mediator. This complexity is magnified in many cases by the phenomenon of multiparty mediation, which raises key challenges for the achievement of coherence and effective leverage. The chapter develops a series of implications from these changing patterns for the practice of mediation.