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 16: Multiparty mediation in civil war

Elizabeth J. Menninga

Abstract

This chapter explores when multiparty mediation efforts are most likely to occur as well as the effect of mediator composition on mediation success. It argues that the composition of multiparty efforts has important implications for mediation success. Understanding when multiparty efforts are most likely provides the foundation for considering how the nature of multiparty mediation affects mediation outcomes. Salience to the international community is expected to increase the number of mediators who intervene in a conflict-year. As battle deaths increase, the number of mediators also increases, providing support for this expectation. Next, three characteristics of mediation efforts—the number and diversity of mediators as well as coordination—are explored. Number of mediators is expected to reduce the likelihood of mediation success while diversity and coordination are expected to improve outcomes. Diversity and number have meaningful impacts on mediation outcomes in opposing directions, highlighting the importance of mediation composition.

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