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culture meets culture 03.-06. Mail 2006, EUROAPHAUS WIEN. The role of mediation in international relations: „call for peaceful conflict resolutions in globalization“. Dr. Thomas R. Henschel European School of Governance. content. Trends in Society and international relations

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Dr. Thomas R. Henschel European School of Governance

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culturemeetsculture03.-06. Mail 2006, EUROAPHAUS WIEN

The role of mediation in international relations:„call for peaceful conflict resolutions in globalization“

Dr. Thomas R. Henschel European School of Governance


  • Trends in Society and international relations

  • Democratization

  • Global society world and international conflicts

  • International conflicts and conflict prevention

  • Concepts of multilateral peace keeping

  • Mediation: a concept for international peace keeping

  • Conclusion and perspective

Trends in Society

People in agriculture

  • Economic development and prosperity:

    • 1871: more than 50% in agriculture

    • 2000: less than 3.2% in agriculture

  • GDP

    • 1830: 2000: ~130.-€~ 25.000.- €

  • Lifetime: doubled

  • Better education and access to information


Trends in Society

  • Today’s elite has no longer the monopoly of access to information - in the best case they have a little advantage of time

  • The radical change of the social structure, the revolution in the education and information sector has initiated a change in government: democratization

    „The Democratic Revolution is the most important trend at the end of the 20th century“

    (Samuel Huntigton)


  • Increasing welfare leads to growing demands for democratic participation

  • Globalization promotes democratization

  • Welfare and development needs the autonomic and innovative citizen, who participates in decision making

Number of people in % living in democratic societies

The global society world

  • The emerging of the „society world“ (E.-O. Czempiel) has almost eliminated the classical international war between states

  • In 2001 the UN registered 105 violent conflicts and wars, all of them „new wars“ (intra-state-wars)

  • Main issue of those conflicts: political and economic Participation

  • Challenge of the 21th century: how to deal with these conflicts in an alternative and non-violent way that answers the demand for participation?

International conflict and conflict prevention

  • 1945: United Nations

    • Multilateralism institutionalized

    • Consensus building as a principle in international politics and peace keeping

    • Rule of international law and international government under the control of the United Nations

International conflict and conflict preventioncrisis of classical crisis-management

  • Collapse of security policy:

    • The crisis in Yugoslavia, Somalia and Rwanda made the collapse of the classical crisis-management obvious

    • Deadly conflicts, failed states, civil war, violence of human rights, genocide – the international community seemed to be almost helpless

    • A massive conceptional gap in security and peace policy

    • This became even more true after 9/11

  • Spending of Resources:

    • millions of Dollar where spent for re-active crisis management (military forces, humanitarian aid, recovery programs)

  • Development policy became a repair workshop

The international community is in need of a concept for maintaining security in the new emerging world order

Security Policy

Development Policy

Peace Consolidation

International conflict and conflict preventionsearch for new concepts of constructive conflict management

  • Prevention before a deadly conflict and Consolidation after such a conflict became important, conceptional aspects for new forms of appropriate, effective and cheaper security strategies

  • Development policy aspects and security aspects (peace building) merged to the new concept of peace-consolidation (UN/OSCE)

Concepts of multilateral peace keeping

Peace Consolidation (UN / OSCE)A systematic and long-term oriented process to deal with the sources of violent conflicts and to build the framework, the institutions and structures for a society to live in together in peace

Three phases of Peace Consolidation (UN / OSCE)




International conflict and conflict preventiona change in paradigm

  • A change in paradigm in Security Policy stresses the “culture of Prevention” (Carnegie Commission 1997) and pledges for a coherent conflict prevention strategy development (UN 1/2001)

    “Prevention is the only appropriate security policy.”(Ernst-Otto Czempiel)

Concepts of multilateral peace keeping

The current model of peace Consolidation:

Peace Consolidation


Operative Prevention

Structural prevention

  • Early warning and intervention

  • Preventive diplomacy

  • Economic measures (Sanctions, Benefits)

  • Enforcement measures

  • Security (in and between states)

  • Well-Being (i.e. social justice,political participations, sustainableDevelopment)

  • Rule of law and just society (in and between states)

short term

mid term

long term

Concepts of multilateral peace keeping

  • Current model of UN and OSCE:

    • Experts are analyzing the conflict, its structure etc. and developing strategies for peace building

    • Experts are doing the job and they are trying to bring peace to the people

  • A good model for de-escalation of deadly conflicts by force,

  • but

    • also the best model for a sustainable peace building?

Problems of the current concept

  • Peace Consolidation is basically seen as a technological project concerning resources, technical support, capacities, methods of external actors to act most effective according to the operational needs on the ground

  • Gap between early warning and early action

  • Lack of co-ordination coherent approaches between state and non-state actors

  • One track classical diplomacy

  • Almost non bottom-up information flow and network

  • High-tech military warning systems not suited to the prevailing of new wars

Mediation: a concept for international peace keeping

  • Empowering civic society by empowering the people

    • Mediation is an approach that empowers the civil society by empowering the people itself.

  • conflict owners and experts

    • The conflict groups and partners are experts for their problems and conflicts

    • they could be experts for peace building

  • Mediation: an approved process approach and tool

    • Mediation is an additional approved instrument for sustainable peace building

    • When people participate, it enhances the acceptance of the result

    • Sustainability is a result of the process itself

Mediation: a concept for international peace keepingHow mediation could be useful


  • supports the conflict parties in understanding their conflict:

    • Methods to stimulate the exchange about differences

    • Mapping the conflict by using visualization techniques

  • creates a room for the differences and for the mutual acceptances of those differences

  • Helps the conflict parties to find optimal regulations for their situations based on a better understanding of the interests and needs of everybody involved in the conflict

  • Conducts the creation of a contract and ensures – if needed - that a third party overlooks and guards the implementation process

Where mediation could make a difference:

  • Phase I: Prevention:

    • transferring preventive diplomacy into early mediation processes (by professional mediators and not diplomats, only)

    • Support of early mediation approaches by economic measurements (sanctions or benefits)

  • Phase III: Sustainable Peace-building

    • Establishing sustainable structures for peace keeping through the participations of the conflict parties in the strategy development process

Mediation: an instrument for all phases and on all political levels in the process of peace building

  • Mediation could help to overcome structural gaps in the current concept of peace building:

    • Definition of Interest of the conflict parties, politicians etc.

    • activation of resources (from non-action to effective action)

    • Coherence building of actors in all fields of politics

    • Better coherence and co-operation in foreign policy, security and development policy in an complex and multilevel environment (regional and national governments, international organizations, NGO`s)

    • Better co-operation of government and private sector

    • Effective support oriented at the needs and interests of the people on the ground

    • Humanitarian assistance and development local capacities for peace could be forstered and their capacity could be strengthened

Challenges for Mediation

  • In new wars the conflict parties are not so easy to identify

  • Each intervention has its own advantages and risk

    • Lack of impact assessment tools and methodology

  • International Organizations such as EU, UN or states such as the US or India have their own agenda and interests

  • Working without a concept could be after all not such a bad concept (process more import than concepts)

  • Demands long term stay on the ground

  • Requires a new self-consciousness of Mediation

  • Needs conflict sensibility (Ursula König)


  • UN and OSCE should promote the integration of Mediation as a complementary instrument and approach for conflict prevention

  • Mediation supports the parties, the responsibility for the content stays with the conflict parties

  • Mediation fosters the civic society by empowering the people itself and giving them back the responsibility for their conflicts and conflict-resolution strategies


  • Most important trend: democratization

  • Democratization demands participation of the citizin and a strong civic society

  • Democratization and the growing global society has ended the classical international war between states

  • Today deadly conflicts are civil wars and terrorist acts

  • The UN / OSCE model is an approved - however imperfect it may be - instrument to de-escalate deadly conflicts

  • Peace building would profit from mediation in three aspects:

    • Early prevention (preventive mediation etc.)I

    • Continuous prevention (developing sustainable structures and regulations for peace building and keeping)

    • Mediation is a key resource for all aspects of peace building


In a more and more complex and dynamic world, in which one men could destroy the whole world, we need mediation as a sufficient approach and tool to deal in a peaceful and participative way with international conflicts.

An approach that empowers the civil society by empowering participation and the citizens itself.

An approach that is dialog and process orientated and leaves the responsibility with the people.

Within the states and between the states.


Dr. Thomas R. HenschelEuropean School of Governance, BerlinIm Palais am Festungsgraben Am Festungsgraben 110117 BerlinTel.: +49 (0)30 20 61 62 57FAX: +49 (0)30 20 61 62 92Email: [email protected]

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