Mediation As A Means Of Official Diplomacy And Its Main Features

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In this paper I will briefly define mediation as a means of official diplomacy and its main features, and then further elaborate on the strengths and weaknesses of the process, with an evaluation of a contemporary example of intergovernmental mediation process, i.e. the EU facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. By one of its broadest definitions, mediation is “a process of conflict management, related to but distinct from the parties’ own negotiations, where those in conflict seek the assistance of, or accept an offer of help from, an outsider (whether an individual, an organization, a group, or a state) to change their perceptions or behavior, and to do so without resorting to physical force or invoking the authority of the law.” Under certain conditions, mediator may stop violence or facilitate a peace agreement. Mediation is often used as an alternative to failed negotiation efforts between parties. Moreover, a third actor, a mediator, should be an “impartial” body. However, it can hardly be found in practice that a third actor is neutral and does not aim to take advantage of the conflict situation. Be it an individual, a state, an institution, or an international organization, any mediator, after all, is a rational actor. As it is highly unlikely for states to act on behalf of morality or altruism, the involvement of a state as a mediator between certain parties creates opportunity for that state to take advantage of the mediation and pursue its own

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