The nature and management of ethnic conflict in the post-Cold War era : an examination of ethnic-conflict mediation outcomes (1999)
Conflict is an everyday phenomenon which pervades the international, national, local and personal spheres. The management of conflict in order to achieve a positive, or at least less destructive, outcome, is the aim of conflict management practitioners and researchers. This thesis provides a framework for examining the nature of the most prevalent form of conflict in the post-Cold War era: those involving ethnicity. Due to the nature of mediation and conflict as a political and social process a review of the relevant literature concerning the nature of ethnic conflict, its components, and the influences of these on the nature of the mediation outcome is undertaken. A contingency model of mediation is employed to systematically analyse the relationships between the antecedent variables; the nature of the dispute, issues, parties and mediator, and concurrent variables; the nature of the process, on the consequent variable; the conflict management outcome. The contingency model of mediation assists in identifying and analysing how a specific outcome is achieved in the context in which it occurs. This information provides the first systematic empirical analysis of ethnic conflict, its characteristics and the interaction of these with their mediated outcomes. Bivariate, adjusted residual and multivariate analysis of the relationship between the nature of the context and process and the mediation outcome is carried out on a post-Cold War ethnic-conflict data set. This data set includes 34 ethnic conflicts in which 873 individual mediation events took place over a five year period. A clear trend among the findings is the dominance of the nature-of-the-party variables in relation to mediation outcome. The nature of the parties, their relative status and internal characteristics all form a strong influence on both the conflict context and the outcome. The identification and nature of this variable poses important considerations for the conflict management practitioner in determining whether to intervene in a particular conflict, whether mediation intervention is the best conflict management technique to employ and the likely implications of intervention. This work does not provide a step-by-step guide on how to reach a successful mediation outcome but provides a conceptual framework in which the essential features of ethnic conflict and their influences on the nature of the mediation outcome are understood.
KeywordsEthnic relations; Mediation
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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