Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
David Houston, Gary Uzonyi, Jacob Levy
Until this point, research in the field of conflict mediation concerning how third-party entities impact mediation outcomes has largely focused on the macrolevel factors of those entities and the disputing parties – geographic proximity of the mediating states to the disputants, the presence of alliances, the existence of enduring rivalries, etc. However, even when macrolevel factors are relatively similar, differences still exist in mediation outcome. This research proposes that some differences in mediation outcome are due to the impact of individual mediator factors, more specifically individual mediator competency skills in the form of Knowledge, Know-how, and Behavioral competencies. Borrowing from research in Psychology and Human Relations organizational theories, I investigate these three competencies categories by quantitatively examining the impact of mediator training, experience, prior success, position/rank, personality factors, and number (of mediators in a team). Additionally, I conduct qualitative investigations through interviews of current and former mediators to determine how to select the best mediators for particular conflicts to increase the likelihood of conflict mediation success, defined as the achievement of ceasefires, partial settlements, or full settlements at the end of the mediation proceedings. This research will conclude by providing U.S. policy prescriptions for best practices for selecting individual mediators to engage in conflict mediation proceedings.
Rowland, Erin V., "Who Mediates Matters: The Impact of Individual Mediator Competency Skills on Individual and Civil Conflict Mediation. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2021.