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Research Report

Peacemaking and Mediation:: Dynamics of a Changing Field

Chester A. Crocker
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2007
Pages: 23

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
    Terje Rød-Larsen

    The International Peace Academy (IPA) is pleased to introduce a new series of Working Papers within the program Coping with Crisis, Conflict, and Change:The United Nations and Evolving Capacities for Managing Global Crises, a four-year research and policy-facilitation program designed to generate fresh thinking about global crises and capacities for effective prevention and response.

    In this series of Working Papers, IPA has asked leading experts to undertake a mapping exercise, presenting an assessment of critical challenges to human and international security. A first group of papers provides a horizontal perspective, examining the intersection of multiple challenges in specific regions of...

  4. (pp. 1-3)

    The study of peacemaking and mediation blossomed in the immediate post-Cold War years and into the new millennium. The 2001 terrorist attacks on the US and subsequent attacks in Indonesia, Spain, and the UK, marked a significant watershed in world politics, raising the question of whether war-fighting against this new adversary would eclipse peacemaking and conflict prevention. While the jury remains out on the extent of the paradigm shift signaled by September 11, 2001, there is no question that today’s environment features elements of both continuity and change for peacemakers. The threat to international security posed by certain forms of...

  5. (pp. 3-7)

    The task of peacemaking and conflict mediation will remain of critical importance in the coming five years. Only if one accepts extraordinarily optimistic projections for the success ratio of peacemaking efforts will that forecast change dramatically in subsequent fiveyear periods out to 2025. This section explores why peacemaking will remain a central requirement for managing conflict, and identifies some of the critical challenges ahead for peacemakers engaged in conflict prevention and mediation activities.

    The most basic reason to project a continuing requirement for peacemakers and mediators is that the raw material for generating and sustaining violent conflict remains plentiful. This...

  6. (pp. 7-14)

    The variety of actors in the peacemaking and mediation field is, at one level, impressive and reassuring. It confirms that this is a growing field, and suggests that there are positive results in terms of a “track record” and a learning curve as third party interventions become better documented. The field includes the following categories of actors: private individuals (scholar-practitioners or eminent persons); non-governmental organizations (both external and indigenous to the conflict arena); regional organizations; international organizations; powerful states as well as small and medium powers; and coalitions of states acting as “contact” or “friends” groups—the latter being an...

  7. (pp. 14-16)

    Before offering specific recommendations, it is useful to recap the major “drivers” or variables that affect the level of “demand” for peacemaking and mediation capability in the medium and longer-term. As noted at the outset, these include the following:

    Crises of state-building and state consolidation, linked to regional conflict dynamics that could exacerbate state decline if left unattended or could enable state strengthening if the poison is drawn out. There are related crises linked to the modernization crisis in the Muslim world, the confrontation between western nations and militant Islamist groups, and the challenge posed to state-building by criminal mafias....

  8. (pp. 17-17)
  9. (pp. 18-18)