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Mediation as Politics: How do Nations Leverage Peace Engagements?

Thursday 26 October 2017, 4.00PM to 6.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Nimet Beriker, Global Fellow with the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO), and former Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Mardin Artuklu University in Turkey


This paper proposes a conceptual model that depicts middle power mediation as a foreign policy strategy in the context of asymmetric alliance dynamics.  It expands on Touval’s (2003) mediation-as-foreign policy perspective, and argues that once mediation is conceived of as a viable political option in the conduct of foreign policy, engaging in mediation activity enables middle powers to create an extra space of political power not otherwise available. This generated leverage, in turn, strengthens the position of middle powers on either the same conflict issue, or  other policy items at both the level of domestic and international politics.  The article introduces an analytical model that explains the dynamics of mediation-as-foreign policy approach and  the mechanisms that translate mediation engagement into political leverage. In addition, it  argues that such translation occurs through the three mechanisms made possible by mediation  intervention, which (a) enables parties to build or signal strong BATNA’s; (b) establishes new issue linkages, and (c) creates links to network partners.  The arguments in this paper focus on aspects of Turkish mediation efforts conducted by the ruling AK Party government between 2002 and 2009, in the context of Turkish-US/EU relations.

Location: Harry Fairhurst, room LFA/144