Multilateral Institutions and Conflict Resolution
States have a multitude of tools for territorial dispute resolution at their disposal ranging from direct bilateral negotiations to third-party states to international organizations (IOs). While the literature explores when states are more likely to accept a third party in their negotiations and when they are more likely to seek a resolution to their disputes bilaterally, we have little understanding of why states are more likely to seek IOs for such tasks. We examine the disputants that prefer certain conflict managers, with a focus on the distinguishing characteristics of IO-led conflict management. We derive a set of hypotheses based on our expectations that, due to the institutional and multilateral characteristics of IOs, certain states will turn to them to resolve their disputes while others will avoid them. Using the Issue Correlates of War data, we find support for our hypotheses. We conclude that the institutional and multilateral characteristics of negotiations indeed affect states’ conflict resolution choices.