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

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
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

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More