Taming Intractable Conflicts

Mediation in the Hardest Cases
August 2004
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9781929223558
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9781601270894
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9781929223565
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Some conflicts seem to defy resolution. Marked by longevity, recurrent violence, and militant agendas, these intractable conflicts refuse to be settled either on the battlefield or at the negotiating table. The longer they fester, the stronger the international community's inclination to lose heart and to turn away. But, explain the authors of this provocative volume, effective mediation in intractable conflicts is possible—if the mediator knows what to do and when to do it.

Written from the mediator's point of view, Taming Intractable Conflicts lays out the steps involved in tackling the most stubborn of conflicts. It first puts mediation in a larger context, exploring why mediators choose or decline to become involved, what happens when they get involved for the wrong reasons, and the impact of the mediator's institutional and political environment. It then discusses best mediation tradecraft at different stages: at the beginning of the engagement, when the going gets very rough, during the settlement negotiations, and in the post-settlement implementation stage.

Forceful, concise, and highly readable, Taming Intractable Conflicts serves not only as a hands–on guide for would-be mediators but also as a powerful argument for students of conflict management that intractable conflicts are not beyond the reach of mediation.

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