Translating Scholarship into Policy
9 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2019
Date Written: 2013
Since the end of the Cold War, the incidence of international dispute peacemaking — especially third-party mediation of civil wars — has skyrocketed. At the same time, there has been a surge in the study of international dispute mediation. Not only has the quantity of research on international dispute mediation increased, but the research has become increasingly rigorous and scientific. Scholars now regularly employ large data sets, state-of-the art statistical methods, and sophisticated math modeling techniques to examine questions such as: who mediates, which strategies are most likely to lead to peace, and why do some agreements last longer than others? These recent, innovative approaches have led to a massive increase in scholars’ understanding of both interstate and civil war peacemaking. Filled with jargon and containing steep learning curves, however, these new approaches have also significantly impeded the ability of practitioners to draw lessons from current research. The result is an ever widening gap between conflict resolution policymakers and scholars — a tragedy given practitioners’ dire need for new ideas to help resolve deadly conflicts and the growing knowledge researchers have to share. The goal of this issue of the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs is to narrow the gap between peacemaking scholars and practitioners. We have worked together to bridge these communities to create a broad, informed and useful understanding of dispute resolution. In the nine essays that follow, scholars translate their analytical research into clear policy implications. The result is an accessible and comprehensive source of lessons learned from current peacemaking research.
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