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Let's talk about peace: mediation in civil conflict

Clayton, Govinda (2013) Let's talk about peace: mediation in civil conflict. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94275) (KAR id:94275)


This dissertation contributes to the growing literature centered on civil war mediation. Relying on a rationalist framework of conflict and actors, and employing quantitative methods, the research uncovers a number of findings relating to the features that assist and impede civil conflict peace brokers. Paper one demonstrates the importance of the relative belligerent strength. Using disaggregated dyadic data, the analysis shows that insurgents whose capacity more closely matches the state are more likely to see mediation in the first place, and ultimately end their conflict through a settlement This argument is developed in the second paper, which shows how belligerent capacity is affected by natural resources. The presence of oil is shown to increase the relative position of the incumbent, lowering the likelihood of mediation and agreement. Paper three focuses on the interaction between the characteristics of the mediator and the belligerents. It demonstrates that mediation is more likely to be accepted when the incumbent and third party share institutional similarities. Notably, non-democratic states are shown to have a significantly higher demand for mediation led by non-democratic third parties. In paper four, which is co-authored with Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, we extend previous research on mediation by assessing the predictive powers of features highlighted as important determinants for mediation. Our results suggest that a two stage model of mediation and success does relatively well in out-of-sample predictions. In total the dissertation makes a number of important contributions, including: using disaggregated data to facilitate assessments of competing mechanisms; adopting an innovative modelling procedure to better capture the selection effects underpinning mediation; and proposing a new means of result validation that offers a more comprehensive assessment of statistical results. In this way the dissertation bridges the gap between studies of civil war mediation, and theoretical and methodological innovations within the broader civil war literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94275
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 25 April 2022 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 (
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 14:01 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 14:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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