Mediation with Non-Conventional Armed Groups? Experiences from Latin America

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My Policy Brief as a Fellow of the Global South Unit for Mediation GSUM, BRICS Policy Center, is just out.  This Brief addresses mediation initiatives with criminal and non-conventional groups in Latin America, against the background of the theory and practice of international mediation. Exploring case studies in El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico, it tries to illuminate the possibilities and challenges of applying traditional conflict resolution strategies to hybrid and non-conventional forms of violence.

The report addresses the following questions: How has mediation with criminal groups been conducted in selected Latin American countries? What combinations of actors have been involved? What factors have affected the outcomes of those processes? What lessons can be drawn regarding mediating criminal and hybrid agendas elsewhere?

The document can be accessed and dowloaded in the website of GSUM, here.

Mi Policy Brief, como Fellow de la Global South Unit for Mediation – GSUM en el BRICS Policy Center, se acaba de publicar (en inglés). “Mediation with Non-Conventional Armed Groups? Experiences from Latin America”, aborda iniciativas de mediación con grupos armados criminales y no convencionales (bandas, híbridos, narcotraficantes, vigilantes) teniendo como fondo la teoría y la práctica de la mediación internacional. Los casos de estudio son El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia y México.

El informe aborda algunas cuestiones esenciales: ¿Es posible la mediación con grupos criminales y no-convencionales? ¿Cómo se ha hecho en América Latina? ¿Qué actores han participado? ¿Qué factores han influido en las dinámicas y los resultados de esos procesos de mediación? ¿Cuáles son las lecciones de cara a futuros intentos, en América Latina y en otros lugares?

El documento se puede ver y descargar en la web de GSUM, aquí.

 

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Book Review: International Mediation

International Mediation, by Paul F. Diehl and J. Michael Greig. Cambridge / Malden: Polity, 2012. 224 pp, £45 hardcover 978-0-7456-5330-3, £16.80 paperback 978-0-7456-5331-0, £11.99 e-book 978-0-7456-6144-5

The profile and use of international mediation as a tool to resolve conflicts has risen in last decades – particularly since the end of the Cold War. The range of actors involved includes states, multilateral organizations such as the UN and the African Union, non-governmental actors at diverse levels, and new bodies such as the Friends of Mediation in the UN General Assembly. As the practice evolves, a growing academic literature on international mediation addresses actors and their tools and strategies, trends, modalities of mediation, and contextual factors that influence the process.

J. Michael Greig and Paul F. Diehl are professors of Political Science with previous important contributions to research on international mediation as a conflict management tool. In this volume they draw upon an extensive review of the relevant contemporary literature, data analysis about mediation, and case studies of historical examples including Bosnia, Burundi, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. The result is a concise but systematic review of international mediation in interstate and civil conflicts. The definition used here is based in the distinguished feature of “the introduction of an outside party into the negotiation process between the disputing sides with, at least partially, the aim of producing a settlement” between them (p. 2). A critical element is its voluntary character, which makes mediation highly dependent on the nature and circumstances of the conflict and its actors.

You can continue reading in the Global Policy Journal.