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'One Man and his Dog? Designing and Managing Peace Processes' (Policy and Practice)

Publication date: Sep 30, 2013 11:57 AM

Start: Feb 27, 2014 05:30 PM
End: Feb 27, 2014 07:00 PM

Location: Medical Sciences 131 AV Hill LT Medical Sciences building, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT

Professor Stefan Wolff

stefan wolff

Negotiation processes are commonly structured around nine different issues: purpose, format, mandate for facilitation and mediation, participation, agenda, timetable, methods for reaching consensus, confidence-building measures, and ratification and implementation of a negotiated agreement.  From the perspective of process design and management, the role of mediators, purpose, format, participation, agenda, timetable, and the methods for reaching consensus are particularly important issues. They often require a very pro-active mediator to help parties reach consensus about the conduct of their dialogue before and during formal negotiations and they represent areas in which problems are likely to occur that mediators need to be aware of and plan for. While every peace process is unique in its specific design, design options, the problems likely to be encountered before and during formal negotiations, however, are not, and neither are the solutions. While mediators’ and participants’ creativity will shape the particular design and conduct of a negotiations process, comparative experience can serve as a useful reservoir of options to consider.
This talk, first, offers an overview of the different options that can be used to design negotiation processes in relation to process design and the role of mediators, purpose, format, participation, agenda, timetable, and the methods for reaching consensus. The second part focuses on some of the likely problems that mediators might encounter along the way and how to deal with them constructively and swiftly so that mediators can demonstrate result and retain their relevance in the peace process.


Stefan Wolff is Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham. He is a specialist in international conflict management and post-conflict state-building and has extensively written on ethnic conflict and civil war. Among his 18 books to date are Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective (Oxford University Press 2007) and Conflict Management in Divided Societies (Routledge 2011, with Christalla Yakinthou). Wolff is the founding editor of Ethnopolitics and an associate editor of Civil Wars. Bridging the divide between academia and policy-making, he has been involved in various phases of conflict settlement processes advising mediators and negotiators in particular on constitutional design, power sharing, wealth sharing and autonomy. Wolff holds a BA from the University of Leipzig, Germany, a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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