International Mediation, Selection Effects, and the Question of Bias
International mediation of violent conflicts is commonplace in todayâ€™s world, and so is academic research on its features and effectiveness. But research that speaks to both the initiation and implementation of mediation remains relatively rare. This article outlines a theoretical and empirical argument that contributes to filling this gap and suggests a counterintuitive selection effect: potential mediators that are likely to resolve a dispute are unlikely to select into mediation. The argument hinges on the claim that mediation by biased third parties is relatively ineffective, and I provide qualitative evidence to suggest that this claim is plausible.
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