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International Mediation, Selection Effects, and the Question of Bias


  • Bernd Beber


International mediation of violent conflicts is commonplace in today’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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Beber, 2012. "International Mediation, Selection Effects, and the Question of Bias," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 29(4), pages 397-424, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:29:y:2012:i:4:p:397-424

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel G. Arce M. & Todd Sandler, 2005. "Counterterrorism," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(2), pages 183-200, April.
    2. B. Peter Rosendorff & Todd Sandler, 2004. "Too Much of a Good Thing?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(5), pages 657-671, October.
    3. Carlos Pestana Barros, 2003. "An intervention analysis of terrorism: The spanish eta case," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 401-412.
    4. Drakos, Konstantinos & Kutan, Ali M., 2001. "Regional effects of terrorism on tourism: Evidence from three Mediterranean countries," ZEI Working Papers B 26-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    5. Carlos Pestana Barros & Luis Gil-Alana, 2006. "Eta: A Persistent Phenomenon," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 95-116.
    6. Joao Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2005. "Terror Support And Recruitment," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 263-273.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Jin Yeub, 2017. "Interim third-party selection in bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 645-665.

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    bias; conflict management; mediation; third parties;


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