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Photo of Karin Aggestam. Photo.

Karin Aggestam

Professor, Director

Photo of Karin Aggestam. Photo.

Mediating Asymmetrical Conflict

Author

  • Karin Aggestam

Summary, in English

This article examines the characteristics of asymmetrical conflicts and obstacles to negotiation and mediation. Four barriers are elaborated upon: (a) enduring unilateral actions, (b) contested recognition and leadership status, (c) existential and identity-based framing of conflict and (d) conflicting interpretation of implementation. Consequently, intervention in asymmetric conflicts poses a tremendous challenge for international mediators. To gain legitimacy is particularly troublesome since there often exists a huge discrepancy in the expectations of mediation between strong and weak parties. The empirical case of Norwegian and American mediation is analysed as pure and principal mediation. The conclusion is that the two types of mediation do not directly address the question of the asymmetrical nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In sum, international mediation is a double-edged instrument in asymmetrical conflicts - particularly principal mediation, as it may produce counterproductive results.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year

2002

Language

English

Pages

69-91

Publication/Series

Mediterranean Politics

Volume

7

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Topic

  • Political Science

Keywords

  • Förhandlingar
  • Internationell politik

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1362-9395