EU Mediation Effectiveness: An Analytical Framework

  • Julian BergmannEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Mediation and its effectiveness are highly complex phenomena that do not lend themselves to a single, linear explanation. This chapter develops the analytical framework of the book and paves the way for the empirical analysis in the case study chapters. The book adopts a two-dimensional conceptualisation of EU mediation effectiveness that includes both a conflict-specific and an EU-specific perspective on effectiveness. The conflict-specific perspective on EU mediation effectiveness focusses on the concrete results achieved, and assesses whether EU mediation leads to the settlement of the conflict. The EU-specific perspective on mediation effectiveness captures the degree to which the EU has achieved its objectives as a mediator in a certain mediation effort. Combining insights and propositions from both mediation research and EU foreign policy studies, the chapter discusses six conditioning factors of EU mediation effectiveness and theorises their causal impact: leverage, mediation strategy, coherence, mediator coordination, the conflict parties’ willingness to compromise, and the conflict parties’ internal cohesiveness. Finally, the chapter concludes by delimiting the conceptual boundaries of the analytical framework and explaining the structure of the ensuing case study chapters.


Mediation effectiveness Goal-attainment Conflict settlement EU mediation Mediation strategy 


  1. Assefa, H. (1987). Mediation of civil wars: Approaches and strategies: The Sudan conflict. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beardsley, K. (2011). The mediation dilemma. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beardsley, K. C., Quinn, D. M., Biswas, B., & Wilkenfeld, J. (2006). Mediation style and crisis outcomes. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50(1), 58–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, A. (2008). Process tracing: A Bayesian perspective. In J. M. Box-Steffensmeier, H. E. Brady, & D. Collier (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of political methodology (pp. 702–721). Oxford, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bercovitch, J. (2005). Mediation success or failure: A search for the elusive criteria. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, 7(2), 289–302.Google Scholar
  6. Bercovitch, J. (2009). Mediation and conflict resolution. In J. Bercovitch, V. Kremenyuk, & I. W. Zartman (Eds.), SAGE handbook of conflict resolution (pp. 340–356). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bercovitch, J., & Houston, A. (2000). Why do they do it like this? An analysis of the factors influencing mediation behavior in international conflicts. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 44(2), 170–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bercovitch, J., & Lee, S.-M. (2003). Mediating international conflicts: Examining the effectiveness of directive strategies. International Journal of Peace Studies, 8(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  9. Bergmann, J., & Niemann, A. (2015). Mediating international conflicts: The European Union as an effective peacemaker? JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(5), 957–975.Google Scholar
  10. Böhmelt, T. (2011). International mediation interaction: Synergy, conflict, effectiveness. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Böhmelt, T. (2012). Why many cooks if they can spoil the broth? The determinants of multiparty mediation. Journal of Peace Research, 49(5), 701–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brattberg, E., & Rhinard, M. (2013). Actorness and effectiveness in international disaster relief: The European Union and United States in comparative perspective. International Relations, 27(3), 356–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bretherton, C., & Vogler, J. (2006). The European Union as a global actor. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Capelos, T., & Smilovitz, J. (2008). As a matter of feeling: Emotions and the choice of mediator tactics in international mediation. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 3(1), 63–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crocker, C. A., Hampson, F. O., & Aall, P. (Eds.). (1996). Turbulent peace: The challenges of managing international conflict. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.Google Scholar
  16. Crocker, C. A., Hampson, F. O., & Aall, P. (Eds.). (1999). Herding cats: Multiparty mediation in a complex world. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.Google Scholar
  17. Crocker, C. A., Hampson, F. O., & Aall, P. (Eds.). (2007). Grasping the nettle: Analyzing cases of intractable conflict. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.Google Scholar
  18. Curran, D., Sebenius, J. K., & Watkins, M. (2004). Two paths to peace: Contrasting George Mitchell in Northern Ireland with Richard Holbrooke in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Negotiation Journal, 20(4), 513–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Da Conceição-Heldt, E., & Meunier, S. (2014a). Speaking with a single voice: Internal cohesiveness and external effectiveness of the EU in global governance. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(7), 961–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Da Conceição-Heldt, E., & Meunier, S. (2014b). Speaking with a single voice: The EU as an effective actor in global governance? Special issue, Journal of European Public Policy, 21(7), 961–1083.Google Scholar
  21. Elsig, M. (2013). The EU as an effective trade power? Strategic choice of judicial candidates in the context of the World Trade Organization. International Relations, 27(3), 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Frei, D. (1976). Conditions affecting the effectiveness of international mediation. Peace Science Society (International) Papers, 26(1), 67–84.Google Scholar
  23. Gartner, S. S. (2011). Signs of trouble: Regional organization mediation and Civil War agreement durability. The Journal of Politics, 73(2), 380–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gartner, S. S., & Bercovitch, J. (2006). Overcoming obstacles to peace: The contribution of mediation to short-lived conflict settlements. International Studies Quarterly, 50(4), 819–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gauttier, P. (2004). Horizontal coherence and the external competences of the European Union. European Law Journal, 10(1), 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gebhard, C. (2011). Coherence. In C. Hill & M. E. Smith (Eds.), International relations and the European Union (pp. 101–127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Gilady, L., & Russett, B. (2002). Peacemaking and conflict resolution. In W. Carlsnaes (Ed.), Handbook of international relations (pp. 392–408). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ginsberg, R. H. (2001). The European Union in international politics: Baptism by fire. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  29. Greig, J. M. (2005). Stepping into the fray: When do mediators mediate? American Journal of Political Science, 49(2), 249–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Greig, J. M., & Diehl, P. F. (2012). International mediation. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  31. Groen, L., & Niemann, A. (2013). The European Union at the Copenhagen climate negotiations: A case of contested EU actorness and effectiveness. International Relations, 27(3), 308–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Haas, E. B. (2001). Does constructivism subsume neo-functionalism? In T. Christiansen, K. E. Jørgensen, & A. Wiener (Eds.), The social construction of Europe (pp. 22–31). London, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hegemann, H., Heller, R., & Kahl, M. (Eds.). (2013). Studying ‘effectiveness’ in international relations: A guide for students and scholars. Opladen: Barbara Budrich.Google Scholar
  34. Hellman, J. (2012). The occurrence of mediation: A critical evaluation of the current debate. International Studies Review, 14(4), 591–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hopmann, P. T. (1996). Bargaining and problem solving: Two perspectives on international negotiation. In C. A. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, & P. Aall (Eds.), Turbulent peace: The challenges of managing international conflict (pp. 445–467). Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.Google Scholar
  36. Jørgensen, K. E., Oberthür, S., & Shahin, J. (2011). Introduction: Assessing the EU’s performance in international institutions—Conceptual framework and core findings. Journal of European Integration, 33(6), 599–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jupille, J., & Caporaso, J. A. (1998). States, agency and rules: The European Union in global environmental politics. In C. Rhodes (Ed.), The European Union in the world community (pp. 213–229). Boulder, CO: Rienner.Google Scholar
  38. Kleiboer, M. (1994). Ripeness of conflict: A fruitful notion? Review essay. Journal of Peace Research, 31(1), 109–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kleiboer, M. (1996). Understanding success and failure of international mediation. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 40(2), 360–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kleiboer, M. (1998). The multiple realities of international mediation. Boulder, CO: Rienner.Google Scholar
  41. Kydd, A. H., & Walter, B. F. (2002). Sabotaging the peace: The politics of extremist violence. International Organization, 56(2), 263–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Laatikainen, K. V., & Smith, K. E. (Eds.). (2006). The European Union at the United Nations: Intersecting multilateralism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  43. Maoz, Z., & Terris, L. G. (2009). Credibility and strategy in international mediation. In J. Bercovitch & S. S. Gartner (Eds.), International conflict mediation: New approaches and findings (pp. 69–95). London, New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Miles, E. L., Andresen, S., Carlin, E. M., Skjærseth, J. B., Underdal, A., & Wettestad, J. (Eds.). (2002). Environmental regime effectiveness: Confronting theory with evidence. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Mitchell, C. R. (1981). The structure of international conflict. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Niemann, A. (2006). Explaining decisions in the European Union. Cambridge, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Niemann, A., & Bretherton, C. (2013). Introduction: EU external policy at the crossroads. International Relations, 27(3), 261–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nuttall, S. J. (2000). European foreign policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nuttall, S. J. (2005). Coherence and consistency. In C. Hill & M. E. Smith (Eds.), International relations and the European Union (pp. 91–112). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Oberthür, S., & Groen, L. (2015). The effectiveness dimension of the EU’s performance in international institutions: Toward a more comprehensive assessment framework. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(6), 1319–1335.Google Scholar
  51. Peen Rodt, A. (2014). The European Union and military conflict management: Defining, evaluating and achieving success. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pinfari, M. (2013). Peace negotiations and time: Deadline diplomacy in territorial disputes. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Quinn, D., Wilkenfeld, J., Eralp, P., Asal, V., & Mclauchlin, T. (2013). Crisis managers but not conflict resolvers: Mediating ethnic intrastate conflict in Africa. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 30(4), 387–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Regan, P. M., & Aydin, A. (2006). Diplomacy and other forms of intervention in civil wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50(5), 736–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Regan, P. M., & Stam, A. C. (2000). In the nick of time: Conflict management, mediation timing, and the duration of interstate disputes. International Studies Quarterly, 44(2), 239–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Richmond, O. (1998). Devious objectives and the disputants’ view of international mediation: A theoretical framework. Journal of Peace Research, 35(6), 707–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rothchild, D. S. (1997). Managing ethnic conflict in Africa: Pressures and incentives for cooperation. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  58. Siniver, A. (2006). Power, impartiality and timing: Three hypotheses on third party mediation in the Middle East. Political Studies, 54(4), 806–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sisk, T. D. (2009). International mediation in civil wars: Bargaining with bullets. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stedman, S. J. (1997). Spoiler problems in peace processes. International Security, 22(2), 5–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Svensson, I. (2007a). Bargaining, bias and peace brokers: How rebels commit to peace. Journal of Peace Research, 44(2), 177–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Svensson, I. (2007b). Mediation with muscles or minds? Exploring power mediators and pure mediators in civil wars. International Negotiation, 12(2), 229–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Thomas, D. C. (2012). Still punching below its weight? Coherence and effectiveness in European Union foreign policy. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 50(3), 457–474.Google Scholar
  64. Touval, S. (1996). Coercive mediation on the road to Dayton. International Negotiation, 1(3), 547–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Touval, S., & Zartman, I. W. (1985). Introduction: Mediation in theory. In S. Touval & I. W. Zartman (Eds.), International mediation in theory and practice (pp. 7–17). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  66. Treaty on European Union. (2012, October 26). Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union. Official Journal of the European Union C326. Accessed 19 November 2016.
  67. Van Schaik, L. (2013). EU effectiveness and unity in multilateral negotiations: More than the sum of its parts? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Vukovic, S. (2011). Strategies and bias in international mediation. Cooperation and Conflict, 46(1), 113–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wallensteen, P., & Svensson, I. (2014). Talking peace: International mediation in armed conflicts. Journal of Peace Research, 51(2), 315–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wilkenfeld, J., Young, K., Asal, V., & Quinn, D. (2003). Mediating international crises: Cross-national and experimental perspectives. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 47(3), 279–301.Google Scholar
  71. Zartman, I. W. (1989). Ripe for resolution: Conflict and intervention in Africa. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Zartman, I. W. (2000). The hurting stalemate and beyond. In P. C. Stern & D. Druckman (Eds.), International conflict resolution after the Cold War (pp. 225–250). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  73. Zartman, I. W. (2001). The timing of peace initiatives: Hurting stalemates and ripe moments. Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 1(1), 8–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)BonnGermany

Personalised recommendations