The Consequences of Failed Mediation in Civil Wars: Assessing the Sri Lankan Case
AbstractWhile mediation efforts in violent conflicts often fail, the academic literature on mediation has long ignored both this phenomenon and its consequences. This paper aims to fill this significant knowledge gap by examining the conditions under which the failure of mediation leads to an escalation of civil war. Based on the literature on bargaining, we argue that the degree of negotiability of the conflict parties’ strategic objectives, as well as the relative weight of hardliners and moderates within those conflict parties, influence the likelihood of escalation after mediation failure. A plausibility test carried out for Norway’s failed mediation in the Sri Lankan civil war confirms the usefulness of our model. In particular, the suspension of negotiations in April 2003 led to a shift towards less negotiable strategic objectives for both conflict parties and to a strengthening of hardliners within the government. This contributed to the escalation of the conflict, up to its eventual termination in May 2009.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 202.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, D-20354 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 42825-593
Fax: +49 (0)40 42825-547
Web page: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/workingpapers
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.