In today's environment, the international response to conflict often entails multiple mediators as well as other third-party actors such as peacekeeping forces, development agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and lone operators. Such a profusion of actors has often made peacemaking efforts messy, difficult, and at times chaotic. The vicious nature of internal conflicts, however, and the high costs for the international community of failing to prevent or end war make it critical to understand these multiple third-party interventions. The principal question is: do these multiparty mediations help or hurt the cause of peace? If the answer to that question is that a multiplicity of third parties can hurt a peace process, does the solution lie in stopping multiple third-party attempts at peacemaking? On the other hand, if the answer is that multiparty mediation can help, are there ways of increasing the chances that it will?.

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International Studies Perspectives
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Crocker, C.A. (Chester A.), Hampson, F.O, & Aall, P. (Pamela). (2001). A crowded stage: Liabilities and benefits of multiparty mediation. International Studies Perspectives, 2(1), 51–67. doi:10.1111/1528-3577.00037