International mediation of violent conflicts is commonplace in today's world, and so is academic research on its features and effectiveness. But research that speaks to both the initiation and implementation of mediation remains relatively rare. This article outlines a theoretical and empirical argument that contributes to filling this gap and suggests a counterintuitive selection effect: potential mediators that are likely to resolve a dispute are unlikely to select into mediation. The argument hinges on the claim that mediation by biased third parties is relatively ineffective, and I provide qualitative evidence to suggest that this claim is plausible.
- conflict management
- third parties
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political Science and International Relations