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International mediation and social networks: The importance of indirect ties

Böhmelt, T (2009) 'International mediation and social networks: The importance of indirect ties.' International Interactions, 35 (3). 298 - 319. ISSN 0305-0629

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Abstract

This study extends the previous literature on actors' incentives in conflict management by examining how direct and indirect links between fighting parties influence the prospects for mediation onset from a social network perspective. The paper argues, contrary to existing research, that direct links, i.e., bilateral ties between warring parties, do not notably increase the likelihood of mediation. Rather, indirect links, i.e., ties that connect two states via one or more than one third party to each other, are more likely to determine whether a conflict sees mediation. Although direct links can indicate mutual interests, shared preferences, and decreased uncertainty between the warring parties, these ties either lose importance or become cut off when states enter a conflict. By contrast, indirect ties create a social network that involves outside parties in the dispute process, and indirect ties increase the exchange of information between belligerents and potential mediators and the chances that third parties will have a vital interest in intervention. My empirical analysis using conflict and social network data in 1946-1995 provides strong support for the theory. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 12:41
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8624

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