This article undertakes a comparative assessment of the key assumptions-both about conflict and third-party roles-underlying four different schools of intervention. These schools are classified as hard realism and soft realism, which have a state-security orientation; psychological approaches, which have a societal or human security-based orientation; and governance-based approaches, which focus on state-society linkages and third-party roles in developing, strengthening, or transforming those linkages. Further, the article maintains that there is a close relationship between the way thirdparty roles are defined and the treatment of causes of intercommunal conflict. Second, the article contends that, although these different approaches to third-party intervention are rooted in different disciplinary perspectives, they should not be viewed as mutually exclusive alternatives. Noting that there are complementary elements in each approach, the author argues that we should not be wedded to a narrow view about the causes of intercommunal conflict, nor should we limit the potential intervention strategies available to a wide range of third parties to manage, settle, or resolve intercommunal conflicts.