Patterns of Peacemaking

When do we see international mediation, and what are the impacts?

International mediation is a form of diplomatic intervention aimed at reaching negotiated solutions to armed conflict, political violence and international crises. Used by states, organizations, groups or individuals, mediation continues to be an important form of peacemaking. We outline the major trends in international mediation, identify relevant empirical trends and discuss implications for policy.

Photo: U.S. Department of State/flickr.

  • Mediation increases the likelihood of short-term peaceful settlement of conflicts.
  • While international mediation has become increasingly common, many conflicts are still unmediated.
  • The distribution of mediation is globally skewed, with Europe and the Middle East attracting the most attention.
  • States and the UN remain key mediators, but regional organizations are becoming increasingly active and competent.
  • There is no evidence of a positive long-term effect of international mediation.

Read more in a recent Policy Brief from the Conflict Trends project at PRIO.

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