Ripe for Resolution

International Mediation and Its Community

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
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  • 1 Free University of BerlinInstitute for Latin American Studies, Germany, Berlin
  • | 2 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de JaneiroInstitute of International Relations, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
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This article discusses how the institutionalization of international mediation practices and its growing relevance since the end of the Cold War coincided with the formation of an epistemic community that shares common practices for a third party. This community focuses on core concepts that structure mediation practices such as efficiency, rationality, and the management of time and information. The article analyzes the consolidation of this community through the circulation of knowledge among scholars and practitioners. In particular, it highlights the place of the concept of ripeness, developed by Ira William Zartman, in stabilizing a division between a moment of conflict and a moment of nonconflict; and it discusses the place of the UN system in its dissemination among mediation practitioners. The article argues that the project-oriented understanding of mediation practices that arises from these shared conceptions contributes to an insulation of these practices from broader views of conflict within international politics.

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