The CSS Blog Network

Mediation Perspectives: Peace Agreement Provisions and the Durability of Peace

Image courtesy of United Nations Photo/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.


Ongoing efforts to professionalize the field of mediation have focused upon the collection of lessons learned and good practice to better inform mediation strategies. My recently published study on “Peace Agreement Provisions and the Durability of Peace” seeks to contribute to this effort by analyzing quantitative research on the empirical relationship between the content of civil war peace agreements and the subsequent duration of peace. In my experience, this is an area of direct practical relevance to mediators, who can and do influence the design of peace agreements through introducing options from comparative cases, making bridging proposals or even occasionally drafting texts.

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Mediation Perspectives: Third Party Pressure Fueling Rebel Fragmentation

Image courtesy of Jason Patinkin/voanews.com

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.


“The only page [of the Darfur Peace Agreement] that really matters is the last page, which has the space for the signatures of the parties,” explained Salim Ahmed Salim to the conflict parties. One Darfurian rebel leader eventually signed the agreement because of tremendous external pressure. The conclusion of the peace agreement was followed by rebel fragmentation and the civil war dragged on for many years to come.

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Mediation Perspectives: Small Steps to Peace

Dekha Ibrahim Abdi. Photo © Emma Leslie

This article was originally published by ETH News on 8 March 2019.

Many small, local steps may lead more sustainably to peace than big dreams of the perfect state. This principle lies at the heart of an innovative approach to conflict mediation developed by a Kenyan mediator and an ETH researcher.

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Mediation Perspectives: Peacebuilding Updated

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

Summary of a presentation given by Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground, at the ETH Workshop on Religion in Swiss Peace Promotion, organized by Culture and Religion in Mediation (CARIM) at CSS ETH Zurich

What worked in the past will not automatically work in the future. We need to update and diversify our peacebuilding approaches. In our current context, this includes a greater emphasis on engaging with religious-political actors with constituencies, even if their worldview is very different to our own.

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Mediation Perspectives: The Political-Technical Interaction in Ceasefires

Christmas Truce 1914. Image courtesy of Wikipedia/A.C.Michael/Illustrated London News

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

If something is purely political, it becomes fuzzy as there is no clear, objective “right or wrong”. If something is purely technical, with many objective “rights and wrongs”, it becomes boring as there is nothing to debate or shape. Things become fascinating when the political and technical interact. Ceasefires that aim to stop violence are important because they can save human life, but they are also intellectually intriguing because of the way political and technical dimensions must interact if they are to be effective.

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