International Conflict Resolution through Mediation: Under which Conditions does the European Union effectively mediate?
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Although the European Union can be considered the most successful internal peace project in history, it is questionable whether the EU successfully acts as a global security player externally. This thesis, therefore, examines the role of the EU as an inter- and intrastate mediator and explores the question of whether and under which conditions the EU is effective in its mediation efforts. The conceptualization of mediation effectiveness consists of a two-dimensional theoretical framework that distinguishes between objective effectiveness – whether and to what extent a peace agreement was signed – and subjective effectiveness in terms of internal EU goal-attainment. To empirically measure the effectiveness of mediation, qualitative case studies and qualitative comparative analysis (QcA) are conducted. The empirical analyses aim at identifying common conditions among the cases influencing mediation effectiveness and thus, determining under which conditions the EU mediates effectively, respectively ineffectively. The conditions influencing mediation effectiveness can be differentiated into two dimensions: 1. Concurrent factors which can be understood as characteristics and behaviour of a mediator, such as the mediator’s leverage, coherence, and mediation strategy, and 2. Context factors, such as the severity of the crisis and the conflicting party’s willingness to compromise. The empirical results show, firstly, that the EU overall does not exceed a medium degree of effectiveness in direct mediation cases, but the EU ismore effective when mediating as the sole mediator in a specific conflict. Secondly, leverage and coherence of a mediator are necessary conditions for mediation to be effective, and together with the conflicting parties’ willingness to compromise, these conditions are considered sufficient to explain mediation effectiveness. These results entail important policy recommendations for the EU to change its mediation behaviour and to adopt the mediation approach to the context of a specific crisis.