The impacts of six attempts to mediate the conflict over the political status of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union were compared. Each mediation was intended to get the direct parties - Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh - to the negotiating table. Nearly 4,000 events were recorded for a six-year period from 1990 through 1995. Each event was coded in terms of a six-step scale ranging from a significant action toward peace (+3) to substantial violence directed at an adversary (-3). Time-series analyses of changes in the extent of violence showed no change from before to after any of the mediations. A significant change did occur, however, between the months preceding and following the period of intensive combat between April 1993 and February 1994. These results support the hypothesis that a mutually hurting stalemate is a condition for negotiating a ceasefire and reduced violence between warring parties. A number of theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Replication datasets available