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A Case for Credible Third Party Mediation

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Gabrielle Rifkind
1 May 2014

Protesters throwing Molotov cocktails in direction of Interior troops positions. Dynamivska str. Euromaidan Protests. Jan 2014

In keeping with Oxford Research Group’s tradition for creative approaches to conflict resolution, Gabrielle Rifkind, Director of our Middle East Programme, is currently developing a new initiative that is focused on the application of credible third party mediation to international conflict resolution. She writes:

War has its own devastating momentum that exacerbates the worst aspects of human behaviour. In the quagmire of armed conflict, when this has become dangerous and out of control, concepts such as 'early intervention' can appear as being irrelevant. Once groups in power are fighting for their own survival, the liklihood that they will regress into nasty brutish behaviour is increased. Communities who previously lived together with their religious and cultural differences are at risk of being defined by their sectarian identities. Early intervention by credible, third-party mediators, independent of governments, might prevent a regression back to these more violent identities.

In a political landscape dominated by power politics and ‘big states’ it is clear that in order for such a body to be effective, it would need to be independent and not tied up in the interests that drive power politics. This would give the mediating body the agility to be able to act quickly and in enough time to prevent the deescalation of a conflict to a point of violence.

Read 'Conflict Prevention and Early Intervention: A Credible team of Mediators' in  PDF format by following the link below.

Gabrielle also makes the case for third party mediation on ‘The Forum,' a BBC World Service programme, and in the 23 March 2014 edition of The Observer.


Image: Protesters throwing Molotov cocktails in direction of Interior troops positions. Dynamivska str. Euromaidan Protests. Events of Jan 19, 2014 Source: Wikipedia

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