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Mediating International Crises: Cross-National and Experimental Perspectives


This study focuses on mediation as a means for mitigating or at least minimizing the potentially turbulent and violent consequences of international crises. Two main research questions are explored: (1) Does mediation in general affect the dynamics and outcomes of crisis negotiations? and (2) Does the impact of mediation vary in accordance with mediator style? Data are drawn from the International Crisis Behavior data set and from ongoing experimental work with human subjects. The historical data reveal that mediated crises are more typically characterized by compromise among crisis actors, are more likely to end in agreements, and show a tendency toward long-term tension reduction. The experimental research confirmed the relationship between mediation and the achievement of agreement and also revealed that mediation leads to crises of shorter duration and to greater satisfaction by the parties with the outcome. A manipulative mediation style is more likely to yield favorable crisis management outcomes than is a more restrictive facilitative style.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Wilkenfeld, Jonathan, Victor Asal, David Quinn, and Kathleen Young. 2003. "Mediating International Crises: Cross-National and Experimental Perspectives." Journal of Conflict Resolution 47 (June): 279-301. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3176290#references_tab_contents

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