a1 The University of California, Davis
Practitioners and scholars have long championed the positive effects of mediation by regional organizations on conflict resolution—an influence much quantitative research fails to confirm. Mediation by regional organizations signals powerful selection effects that can lead to erroneous inferences about the factors observed to influence the duration of dispute peace agreements. In order to control for selection, I develop a theory that accounts for the nature of the conflict and the identity of third-party mediators. Theoretically and statistically controlling for the negative effects of selection on agreement durability evinced through mediation by regional organizations makes clear their positive process effects. That is, by taking into account that regional mediators get especially hard-to-manage disputes we can observe the positive ways that regional mediation contributes to dispute resolution. This study advances our understanding of conflict management, regional organizations, and civil war.
(Online publication May 13 2011)
Scott Sigmund Gartner is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Relations Program at the University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.