An invaluable resource for anyone seeking to grasp what makes for successful mediation and conflict management in an increasingly unmanageable world. . . . It will fascinate as well as educate the reader—whether student or practitioner.
Kofi A. Annan, UN Secretary General
Herding Cats is an extraordinary collection of the witness of practitioners trying to make peace in rough neighborhoods. . . . There is much to study and learn in this book, the best of the growing studies on mediation.
I. William Zartman, SAIS
An illustrious cast of practitioners here describe their personal experiences in working to bring peace in significant conflicts across four continents. As James Baker, Richard Holbrooke, Max van der Stoel, Alvaro de Soto, Aldo Ajello, and others make clear, the mediator must operate in an environment of daunting complexity, insecurity, and uncertainty. Whether sequestered in Norway or zigzagging across Africa, the mediator can take nothing for granted—not participants, agendas, or timetables—in the struggle to sustain and advance the peace process.
And just to make things more complicated, each conflict now typically attracts several independent mediators. Indeed, coordinating third party mediators is like herding cats—difficult if not impossible.
In each of the two dozen cases examined in this volume, mediation was a multiparty effort, involving a range of actors—individuals, states, international organizations, and NGOs—working simultaneously or sequentially. These vivid accounts attest to the crucial importance of coordinating and building upon the efforts of other players. They also illuminate the opportunities and problems presented by different entry points of mediation—from conflict prevention, through negotiation during active conflict, to post-settlement implementation and peacebuilding—and by different kinds of leverage, levels of engagement, and objectives.
This volume was developed by the same editors who were responsible for USIP Press's highly successful 1996 publication Managing Global Chaos and is intended as a follow-on to that book. In their feedback on the 1996 volume, readers requested additional resources, especially case studies that reflect real, hands-on experience in complex settings. Not only will these cases illustrate how multiparty mediation works or does not work, but they should also stimulate further work on the special requirements and best practices of the field, promote a dialogue among practitioners themselves as well as between academics and practitioners, and lead to unique insights, new understandings, and alternative approaches that can be applied to future mediations.
The editors have framed the volume with discussions that link the practitioner cases to the scholarly literature on mediation, thereby situating the case studies in terms of theory while also drawing lessons for both scholars and practitioners that can help guide future endeavors.
Chester A. Crocker is the James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies at Georgetown University and a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innnovation (CIGI). His teaching and research focus on conflict management and regional security issues. He served as chairman of the board of the United States Institute of Peace (1992-2004) and as a board member for many years thereafter. From 1981-1989, he was U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs. As such, he was the principal diplomatic architect and mediator in the prolonged negotiations among Angola, Cuba, and South Africa that led to Namibia’s transition to independence, and to the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola. Dr. Crocker served as a staff officer at the National Security Council (1970-72) where he worked on Middle East, Indian Ocean, and African issues and director of African studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1976-80). He serves on the boards Universal Corporation, Inc., a leading independent trading company in tobacco and agricultural products; Good Governance Group Ltd, a business intelligence advisory service; and Bell Pottinger USA, a communications and public relations firm. Dr. Crocker is a founding member of the Global Leadership Foundation, the Africa-based Housing for HIV Foundation and member of the Independent Advisory Board of the World Bank. Dr. Crocker is the author of High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood (1993), co-author (with Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall) of Taming Intractable Conflicts: Mediation in the Hardest Cases (2004), and coeditor of Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World (2007), Grasping the Nettle: Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict (2005); Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict (2001); and Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World (1999).
Fen Osler Hampson is a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI). He is also Chancellor's Professor at Carleton University. Hampson was a Jennings Randolph Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1993-94.
Pamela R. Aall is a senior fellow at Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the former vice president for United States Institute of Peace's domestic programs, Education and Training Center . Before joining the Institute in 1993, she was a consultant to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and to the Institute of International Education. She held a number of positions at the Rockefeller Foundation. She has also worked for the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam and Brussels), the International Council for Educational Development (New York), and the New York Botanical Garden. She holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. from Columbia University and attended the London School of Economics, conducting research on political and economic integration in Scandinavia and Europe.
Part I. Multiparty Mediation: Concepts, Issues, Strategies and Actors
Part II. Conflict Prevention and Management
Part III. Ending Violent Conflict: The Road to Settlement
Part IV. Settlement and Implementation
Part V. Conclusion