The Challenge of Forging Consent to UN Mediation in Internationalized Civil Wars: The Case of Syria

In: International Negotiation
Sara Hellmüller Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, PO Box 1672, 1211 Geneva 1 Switzerland

Search for other papers by Sara Hellmüller in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This article analyzes how the internationalization of civil wars influences conflict parties’ consent to UN mediation processes. Illustrated by the UN mediation in Syria, I argue that internationalization influences consent directly by obstructing the advent of a costly stalemate and the parties’ perception of mediation as a ‘way out,’ and indirectly by reducing mediators’ leverage and perceived impartiality thereby limiting their tools to foster consent. The article makes three contributions. First, it presents a novel conceptual framework to understand the impact of internationalization on conflict parties’ consent. Second, it provides a long-term analysis of UN mediation in Syria from 2012–2020. Third, it contributes to a broader discussion about how civil wars end. This is of particular relevance as the prioritization of a political over a military end to civil wars, which was dominant in the early post-Cold War period, is no longer unquestioned.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1942 388 49
Full Text Views 284 104 10
PDF Views & Downloads 548 201 18