chapter  9
20 Pages

Mediation

In managing complex human relations, mediation has entered popular parlance from everyday life to major international arenas. Some of the well-known examples of averting and ending inter-state wars via mediation include Pope John Paul II intervention in territorial disputes between Chile and Argentina (1978-1984), Soviet premier Kosygin’s sponsorship of the cease-fire between Pakistan and India in 1964, and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy achieved military disengagement agreements between Israel and its Arab adversaries (1974-1976) after the Yom Kippur War (1973). More dramatic was the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Accord that resulted from the relentless efforts of US President Jimmy Carter aided by his staff and diplomats. In fact, the 1978 Camp David Accord reshaped the perception that war was the only means to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, presenting a new model of peace diplomacy. Although there are many forms of mediation, in general, it is widely known for “neutral” third-party assistance in reaching settlement. Theoretically, an intermediary intervention in the negotiation process is not supposed to be authoritative in the sense that mediators do not make rulings or impose an agreement. Since they are making decisions, partisans may feel it is fairer with mediation than with arbitration which they cannot control. Thus, mediation can be characterized as “a form of assisted negotiation” or at least is seen as “a catalyst for negotiation” (Touval and Zartman, 2001, p. 442). Being motivated for settlement is essential to any successful mediation not only because consent to a mediation process is voluntary but also because the disputants make final decisions on the issue. This chapter reviews the various roles of mediators, the process of mediation and conditions for successful intermediary roles. Mediation is more easily applied to interestspecific negotiation than issues related to values or fundamental principles. However, mediation has been growingly utilized to end civil wars (e.g., Burundi, Sudan, BosniaHerzegovina) and other protracted violent conflicts (e.g. Northern Ireland) over the last two decades. Thus it has developed a new adaptation to different conflict situations which entail such issues as self-determination, sovereignty, and territorial disputes.