Analyzing mediation raises some basic questions about what third parties can do in an intense conflict situation, under what circumstances, and to what effect. Within the internationalmediation literature,much attention is devoted to discussions of appropriate bargaining strategies and entry points, as well as about comparative advantage, coordination, and leadership of different kinds of mediators. As we will argue in this chapter, although the international mediation literature pays some attention to the concept of risk and the notion of the mediator as a kind of risk manager, the risk management aspects of international mediation, especially in the context of the design and implementation of negotiated settlements, do not receive the full level of attention they deserve. In fact, we will argue in this chapter that in situations of intense (i.e., violent) conflict, international mediators have a critical risk management role to play in the negotiation process both before and after a settlement is concluded. This chapter discusses some of those key risks, the impact of those risks on the negotiation process, and how mediators can manage (or ideally control) these risks in a peace process.

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Hampson, F.O. (2009). Risky business: Curable and incurable risks in the international mediation of violent conflict. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-92993-2_3