IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersPeacemaking and Mediation: Dynamics of a Changing Field

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - March 14, 2007

Peacemaking and Mediation: Dynamics of a Changing Field

This publication is part of the CWC Working Paper Series [read more about this publication series]

Chester Crocker

 

 

From the Introduction: There is no question that today’s environment features elements of both continuity and change for peacemakers. We will identify important areas of consensus about peacemaking that have carried over from the late 1980s and early 1990s to the present, take note of continuing debates in the broader field of conflict management and resolution that affect the way practitioners and scholars think about their activities, and discuss certain “new emphases” in this field that can affect the way peacemakers operate, whether as state-based or unofficial actors.


It should be emphasized at the outset that peacemaking (including conflict prevention) and mediation are best understood as components of a broader field of activity and study summarized by the term “conflict management”––a term that incorporates the full spectrum of third party activities aimed at preventing, mitigating, suppressing, settling or resolving, and even transforming, violent conflict between and within societies. From the standpoint of the scholarly literature, peacemaking is rooted in the study of (1) negotiation and (2) conflict resolution.

But situating the field in this manner risks creating an overly narrow perception of what peacemaking is all about. Making peace and the threat or use of force both have a place in the arsenal of powerful actors, whether they operate in the interest of their “national security” or in the interest of broader notions of “international peace and security,” as defined in the United Nations Charter. The absence or failure of peacemaking results in reduced security. Peacemaking, in other words, is one of the major avenues leading toward enhanced security, and it deserves a central place in the diplomacy of states that have something to contribute, as well as in the activity of the UN Secretariat.

The Global Observatory

Caught in the Middle: Civilian Protection in South Sudan
Absent an active effort by the South Sudanese government, the UN Mission will need to adopt a holistic approach to civilian protection.

Key Global Events to Watch in October
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.

October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.

September 30, 2014
Vike-Freiberga: Rethinking the United Nations
In a speech delivered at IPI on September 30th, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga gave a sobering historical analysis of the gains and setbacks made by the international system over the past century and, focusing on the UN, she called for a rethinking of the organization’s structure and approach to peace.

View More