Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises
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Research Handbook on Mediating International Crises

Edited by Jonathan Wilkenfeld, Kyle Beardsley and David Quinn

Current conceptions of mediation can often fail to capture the complexity and intricacy of modern conflicts. This Research Handbook addresses this problem by presenting the leading expert opinions on international mediation, examining how international mediation practices, mechanisms and institutions should adapt to the changing characteristics of contemporary international crises.
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Chapter 2: International crises

Jonathan Wilkenfeld and Michael Brecher

Abstract

This chapter begins by reviewing the well-known International Crisis Behavior definitions of international and foreign policy crises. It then reviews the four crisis phases of onset, escalation, de-escalation, and impact. A theme running through the chapter is the manner in which crises are impacted by the degree to which they are embedded in gray zone conflicts and include both state and non-state actors. The chapter concludes with recommendations on how the practice of mediation must be adapted to the conditions of contemporary international and intrastate crises. These recommendations include adapting mediation to the interplay of domestic and international conditions in the onset and escalation of interstate crises, adapting mediation practices to the multiplicity of issues that state and non-state actors bring to the negotiation table, and a call for the increased employment of domestic mediators on mediation teams.

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