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Why many cooks if they can spoil the broth? The determinants of multiparty mediation


  • Tobias Böhmelt

    () (Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich)


Which factors drive the onset of multiparty mediation? Despite numerous studies explaining the onset of international mediation in conflicts, the literature offers little insight into when we are likely to see ‘multiparty mediation’, that is, mediation attempts that are conducted by a coalition of interveners. The latter are different from those interventions that only see one mediator, however: mediators forming a coalition are likely to be constrained by different domestic factors and may have different incentives than states pursuing unilateral approaches. Thus, ignoring these patterns can have serious consequences for our theoretical expectations and empirical inferences on mediation onset. In order to address this shortcoming, this article introduces concepts from the coalition-formation literature to the existent research on mediation, and examines the onset of multiparty mediation from a twofold perspective. First, there are supply-side determinants, that is, interveners’ incentives for multiparty mediation. Second, the author studies demand-side influences, that is, factors pertaining to the belligerents. By analyzing data for 1950–2000, the following research’s main contribution stems from the empirical test of the theoretical framework in a quantitative research design. The results point to a disconnect between the factors that promote single-party mediation onset and those that promote multiparty mediations.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Böhmelt, 2012. "Why many cooks if they can spoil the broth? The determinants of multiparty mediation," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(5), pages 701-715, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:5:p:701-715

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