James A. Wall Jr.
University of Missouri at Columbia
George Mason University – Department of Public & International Affairs
IACM 15th Annual Conference
This study investigates mediation in peacekeeping missions and the role of three factors – dispute severity, time pressure and the peacekeeper’s rank – in that process. An initial set of interviews indicated that peacekeepers mediate a wide range of both severe and non-severe disputes with a variety of techniques. A second round of interviews suggested which techniques were viable for the peacekeepers’ utilization. Information from the interviews combined with propositions from image theory suggested a set of hypotheses concerning the effects of dispute severity, time pressure and peacekeeper’s rank. An experimental test of these hypotheses revealed that dispute severity had a strong effect upon the peacekeeper’s choice of techniques. Time pressure did not influence technique selection; nor did it interact with dispute severity. And rank had a moderate effect on technique choice. Following a reporting of these results, we discuss the value of using information from peacekeepers to develop and refine theories of mediation.