Mediation and Conflict Management


Academic Links

Professor Stefan Wolff

  • Ethnic Conflict Settlement, especially institutional design and the contribution by international organisations.

Dr Christalla Yakinthou

  • Post-settlement conflict transformation processes  
  • The relationship between power-sharing and transitional justice

Dr Asaf Siniver 

  • The theory and practice of international mediation and conflict resolution
  • The role of third parties in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Conflict management is a process that aims at channelling the violent manifestation of an incompatibility of goals between two or more parties into a political process where their disputes can be addressed by non-violent means. Its main objective, in our view, is to find and sustain an institutional arrangement in which conflict parties have greater incentives to abide by political rules of dealing with their disputes than to use, or revert to, violence in pursuit of their incompatible objectives. This is clearly a significant challenge at the best of times, but one that has been confronted with varying success by academics and policymakers alike.

This research theme focuses on mediating and managing conflict, with a particular focus on cross-border conflicts, civil war and internal conflicts, and post-authoritarian societies. Researchers in this area are looking at ethnic conflict settlement, especially institutional design and the contribution of international organisations; minority rights and democratisation; post-conflict reconstruction and the stability of conflict settlements; institutional and constitutional design in divided societies; the role of transitional justice in post-conflict societies, and the relationship between institutional design and transitional justice efforts; as well as specific country contexts.

Conflict-management-bookQuestions we seek to answer:  

  • On what principles should political institutions be designed?
  • Who is engaged in ‘designing’ these institutions and why?
  • What are the implications of this involvement?
  • What is the impact of particular forms of conflict management on post-conflict stability?
  • What is the short- and long-term impact of ‘out-of-the-box’ mechanisms for conflict management?
  • How do pre- and post-settlement approaches to conflict management relate to each other in theory and practice?
  • How, and to what extent, do conflict management approaches feed into broader conflict transformation processes?