International Mediation as the Management of Complexity

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Thursday, 18 June 2015 08:45-10:00
Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 7, Oslo

​If we are interested in improving the quality and efficacy of international mediation in civil wars, whether through research, training, policy guidelines or organisational innovation, it is vital that we have a good grasp of the essence of the enterprise.

Key speaker: Laurie Nathan, Director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa, University of Pretoria. 

Dr. Nathan argues that the essence of international mediation in civil wars is the challenge of managing complexity. If mediation efforts fail to recognise and meet this challenge, they are at risk of being unproductive or even counter-productive. He uses the term ‘complexity’ not as a synonym for ‘complicated’ or ‘difficult’ but with the richer meaning afforded by complexity theory. Dr. Nathan seeks to show that this theory offers valuable conceptual and practical insights into mediation. The presentation begins with an outline of the theory and then examines international mediation in civil wars through the lens of that theory. Finally, Dr. Nathan will discuss the failure of international mediation to respond adequately to the challenge of complexity.

Moderator: Kristian Berg Harpviken

Commentator: Torunn L. Tryggestad

A light breakfast will be served from 08:30. Welcome!

Please download the paper for the seminar to the left