The paper considers the nature and characteristics of peace-building as an approach to conflict. It suggests that mediation should be seen as a particularly important aspect of peace-building efforts, and one that may be used at different phases of a conflict. The paper develops a framework for analyzing the circumstances under which mediation may contribute to peace-building. The framework lays emphasis on contextual and perceptual dimensions. The paper argues that mediation, properly utilized, can achieve not just a settlement of a conflict, but facilitate, in the longer run, a full transformation of relations. Any successful program of peace-building requires some form of mediation.

Author Bio(s)

Jacob Bercovitch is professor of international relations at the University of Cantebury, in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is the author of many books and articles on various aspects of international conflict resolution. His most recent book is entitled Studies in International Mediation (2002). In 2002, Professor Bercovitch was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.


globalization, international relations, mediation, peacebuilding, United Nations

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