Why is mediation in armed conflict declining?

Research project
Active research
Project period
2021 - 2024
Project owner
Department of Political Science

Short description

This project tries to resolve a puzzle of mediation occurrence: while the capacity to mediate in armed conflicts has expanded immensely over the last decades, the proportion of conflicts that actually receive mediation has declined. How can we explain this counter-intuitive pattern? Is it because mediators are increasingly unwilling to become involved, or is it because belligerents are increasingly resisting mediation efforts? We posit that major trends in contemporary armed conflicts, such as radicalization and fragmentation, may have reduced the demand for mediation, while shifts in the international conflict management regime, such as the increasing proscription of armed groups, may have reduced its supply.


Magnus Lundgren, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg.

Desirée Nilsson, Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. 

Isak Svensson, Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Principle investigator.