Two characteristics of mediators – bias and leverage – are discussed intensively in the research on international mediation. However, whereas bias and leverage have been examined in mediation by states, relatively little is known about their role in mediation by international organizations (ios). This study provides new ways of conceptualizing io bias and leverage and utilizes unique data to measure the impact of io bias and leverage on mediation outcomes. Exploring all cases of civil war mediation by ios in the period 1975–2004, we find that ios where member states provide support to both sides in a conflict outperform ios whose member states remain disinterested. ios with significant trade leverage also increase the likelihood of mediation success. The study demonstrates that ios rarely have a neutral relationship to civil war combatants, that mediation by ios is laden with member state interests, and that such interests shape outcomes.
LundgrenM.“Management matters: Civil war mediation by the Arab League and the United Nations in the Syrian civil war 2011–2012”2013Annual meeting of the International Studies AssociationSan Francisco, CA
SavunB.BercovitchJ.GartnerS.G.“Mediator types and the effectiveness of information-provision strategies in the resolution of international conflict”International Conflict Mediation: New Approaches and Findings2008bNew YorkRoutledge
UN“Secretary-General, In ‘Mission of Healing’ to Rwanda, Pledges Support of United Nations for Country’s Search for Peace and Progress”1998Press Release sg/sm/6552/afr/56. 6 May 1998. Available at: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1998/19980506.SGSM6552.html