Information, Bias, and Mediation Success
International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 52, pp. 25-47, 2008
23 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2009 Last revised: 21 Aug 2009
Date Written: April 18, 2008
Why do some mediation episodes produce successful negotiated settlements between the disputants of international conflict while others fail to achieve success? This article examines how certain characteristics of a mediator, that is, a mediator’s information about the disputants and a mediator’s bias toward them, affect the success of mediation of international conflicts. By drawing a conceptual distinction between absolute and relative bias and measuring the type of information that is relevant for mediation success, I demonstrate that both the degree of bias a mediator holds toward the disputants and the degree of information a mediator has about the disputants are significant predictors of mediation success.
Keywords: mediation, mediator, bias
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