Mediator as Gatekeeper

Led by Jørgen Jensehaugen

Sep 2021 – Dec 2021

​This project is funded by HUMEVAL / The Research Council of Norway.

This project is funded by HUMEVAL / The Research Council of Norway.

The post-Cold War era has both seen a rise in non-international armed conflicts and mediation as a means to end conflict. Unlike classical inter-state wars where the states are the warring parties, and thus also the natural parties to be included in a mediated peace process, complex intra-state wars often have a multitude of parties. Then, deciding who are legitimate parties in the mediated peace process is far more controversial With emerging norms of inclusion, ownership and participation in peace negotiations, the role of the mediator as a gatekeeper has therefore come to the forefront of peacemaking efforts. The act of including or excluding specific conflict actors comes with its own distinct pitfalls and intricacies, an issue that has yet to be analyzed in its entirety through a cross-disciplinary approach.

This multi-disciplinary initiative provides an empirical basis and theoretical insights for examining the political and ethical considerations and responsibilities of mediators as gatekeepers and door openers. As a basis for further research and collaboration, the initiative starts from case studies of mediation efforts in the Arab-Israeli conflict (Jørgen Jensehaugen, PRIO), the conflict in Colombia (Isabel Bramsen, Lund University) and the Sudan/South Sudan conflict (Kristoffer Lidén, PRIO).

The core activity of the project will be a workshop and subsequent PRIO policy brief, combining insights from philosophical ethics, history, and social sciences with contributions from an international group of experts and scholars across multiple disciplines. The initiative draws on synergies with the PRIO led project "On Fair Terms: The ethics of peace negotiation and mediation (FAIR)of peace negotiation and mediation (FAIR)"

The core group for this HUMEVAL supported project under the Law and Ethics research group consists of Jørgen Jensehaugen, Kristoffer Lidén and Isabel Bramsen, supported by collaborations with relevant experts and institutions, including Norwegian MFA, NOREF, PRIO GPS Centre, Nordic Women Mediators network and the UN Mediation Support Unit.

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