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  • Author or Editor: Siniša Vuković x
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The present study challenges three common assumptions of the international mediation literature. First, it challenges the perception that pure or weak mediators are unable to use manipulative and coercive strategies in the mediation process, but can only resort to facilitating the dialogue and at most formulating a proposal on behalf of the disputants. Secondly, it challenges the perception that only resource-based power can be used to manipulate the process and coerce (and direct) the parties toward mutually acceptable solutions. This misconception is based on the assumption that the expansion of the zone of possible agreement, which is mainly attributed to manipulative strategies, can be achieved only by the employment of carrots and sticks which are often inaccessible to pure or weak mediators. Lastly, it shows how this type of leverage can also indicate a particular bias that an apparent pure mediator might have: bias of outcome.

Open Access
In: International Negotiation

Abstract

Crucial challenges for multiparty mediation processes include the achievement of adequate cooperation among the mediators and consequent coordination of their activities in the mediation process. Existing literature goes only as far as to make it clear that successful mediation requires necessary cooperation and coordination between mediators, as if these features were exogenous to the process. Available research does not consider whether these features might change over time and if such change could have an impact on the overall mediation process. Experience shows that it is not rare for mediators who were initially willing to pool their resources and act in concert with one another to decide at a later point to stop cooperating. Using a game theoretical model and a comparative analysis of three recent cases of multiparty mediation, this research illustrates the importance of maintaining necessary levels of cooperation and coordination to achieve successful outcomes and provides insights on how to achieve them in case the mediating coalition is faced with internal conflict of interests.

Open Access
In: International Negotiation

Abstract

Intractability is generally associated with prolonged tensions, employment of destructive means, suspicion and mistrust, inflammatory rhetoric and polarized solutions that are usually presented as ultimatums. Existing studies on intractability have emphasized the resistance to solution as a crucial indicator of intractability, and subsequently explored the phases through which intractability evolves and key characteristics these conflicts possess. What is largely missing is a nuanced explanation of at what point resistance turns into intractability. Building on earlier studies from social-psychology on entrapment in negotiations this article will develop a novel conceptual framework of entrapment as a precondition to intractability, and apply it to assess the causes and consequences of entrapment in an escalating conflict using the Syrian Civil War as a case study. The study will demonstrate that resistance to solution, which is a consequence of entrapment, does not automatically lead to intractability.

Open Access
In: International Negotiation