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Waging peace : international mediation and Norwegian society

Dobinson, Kristin (2000) Waging peace : international mediation and Norwegian society. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (KAR id:86162)


This thesis suggests that more attention should be paid to the identity, "motives" and capabilities of committed mediators than is currently found in the mediation literature, and how these are related to mediators' socio-cultural positioning, (moving beyond the notion of "constituency"). The relationship between the mediator and her/his socio-cultural and normative setting is seen as mutually constitutive, in line with structuration theory. A post-positivist, hermeneutic, discourse analytic understanding of Norwegian mediators and other members of their social group is sought, while recognising the limitations of actors' self-understandings. Lifeworld analysis is combined with structuration theory, to highlight how individual actors are partly constituted by everyday experience within the socio-cultural environment. (The norms, values and discursive continuities of this environment will have entered into actors' tacit 'practical consciousness'; these continuities will in turn be constituted by agency.) The thesis argues for a more nuanced understanding of mediatory "power" and "motives" than found in the 'Realist' emphasis of much mediation literature. It suggests that more attention should be paid to the attitudinal dimension of influence, to the effects of the mediator's sociocultural positioning on mediatory capabilities, to the neglected normative dimension of motivation, and to action which is not directly motivated. Norway's recent peace activism is introduced, situating Norwegian mediators within the longue dup.& of their social group. Relevant historical, normative and discursive continuities of the Norwegian socio-cultural setting are traced, exploring how these are both drawn upon by actors when constructing their narratives on Norway's mediatory role, and implicated in their conduct, attitudes and expectations as mediators/"constituents". Norway's privileged speakers' attempts to 'gain support for mediation are studied; this furthers our understanding of how a constituency for mediation can be built up. The "Norwegian model" of cooperation between state and NG0s, and how this impacts upon peace work, is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Mediators; Conflict
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:31 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 22:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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