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Democratic Third Parties, Conflict Intensity, and International Mediation

Bohmelt, Tobias (2021) 'Democratic Third Parties, Conflict Intensity, and International Mediation.' Negotiation Journal. ISSN 0748-4526 (In Press)

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Especially more difficult conflicts tend to attract international mediation, while democracies are more likely to mediate than other third parties. Notwithstanding these well-established findings, I contend that a joint effect of third-party democracy and dispute intensity is associated with a lower probability of mediation. Mediation is not costless for third parties and domestic audiences may punish leaders for failed interventions. As democracies are more vulnerable than non-democratic regimes to such audience costs and anticipate these especially for difficult conflicts that are likely to fail, they will opt for the “easier” cases. I test the observable implication of this argument using data on civil wars and mediation since 1946 and find strong and robust support for it. This article adds to our understanding of conflict management and sheds further light on the persistent selection mechanisms surrounding international mediation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Audience Costs; Civil Conflict; Conflict Intensity; Democracy; International Mediation
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 14:18
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 15:15

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