Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Krieg, Frieden und Mediation - eine wettkampftheoretische Perspektive

Gehrmann, Björn (2019): Krieg, Frieden und Mediation - eine wettkampftheoretische Perspektive.

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Since the Refugee Crisis and the subsequent focus on combating the causes of migration, efforts to promote the peaceful resolution of armed conflicts have gained in importance and urgency, both in Germany and at the international level. Since 2016, the German Federal Government has significantly increased its commitment to the prevention, stabilization and termination of civil wars. Based on the economic theory of contests, this paper outlines options for how third parties can support peaceful resolution of armed conflicts. In contest theory, peace is interpreted as a stationary equilibrium of military capabilities of the warring parties. The transition from war to peace is either (1) a result of the individual rationality of the parties (endogenous peace) and, depending on the military configuration, can take place with or without the involvement of a mediator (passive mediation), or (2) the result of a targeted intervention of a third party in the calculus of (at least) one of the conflict parties (exogenous peace; active mediation). A contest theory analysis provides new insights into the value of third parties in the transition from war to peace. According to the analysis, (3) passive mediation can be used in 25% of all conceivable military configurations. (4) The 'mutually hurting stalemate' proposed in the mediation literature as a prerequisite for peace negotiations is an absolute exception (2.7%). (5) Passive mediation is much more likely in situations of 'one-sided weakness' (11.1%). To be effective (6) a passive mediator must dispose of immaterial resources such as impartiality, discretion and credibility. (7) Active mediation can be used in the remaining 75% of all conceivable military configurations. (8) To be effective, an active peace broker must have significant material resources (finances, military capabilities, private information). For potential active mediators with limited resources, cooperation with powerful fourth parties could be an attractive option.

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