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 17: Mediation, leverage, and the crafting of civil war peace agreements

Lindsay Reid

Abstract

Do mediators influence the content of negotiated settlements? While third-party mediators are often successful at achieving civil war settlements, little is known regarding how they influence the substance of peace agreements. This chapter examines the extent to which mediated settlements differ in content from those reached in the absence of third-party assistance. Moreover, it considers whether mediators with softer forms of influence, or credibility leverage, shape agreements in unique ways. A quantitative analysis of civil war peace agreements signed between the years 1976 and 2010 indicates that mediated settlements tend to be more robust in their provisions than those reached in the absence of mediation; moreover, mediation with credibility leverage offers added benefits by increasing the likelihood of justice and reconciliation provisions within peace agreements. The findings thus reveal that mediators do play an influential role not only in achieving peace but in shaping the nature of peace settlements.

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