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Are mediators norm entrepreneurs?

English title Are mediators norm entrepreneurs?
Applicant Goetschel Laurent
Number 159335
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Peace Foundation - swisspeace
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019
Approved amount 589'509.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Sociology

Keywords (7)

Norm entrepreneurs; Norms diffusion; Mediation; Norms; United Nations; African Union; Non-governmental organizations

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Normen spielen eine zunehmend wichtige Rolle in internationalen Mediationsprozessen. Von der Mediatorin wird nicht mehr nur erwartet, dass sie einen bewaffneten Konflikt endet, sondern sie soll vermehrt auch bestimmte Normen in einen Mediationsprozess einbinden. Dieses Forschungsprojekt beschäftigt sich deshalb mit der Rolle des Mediators in Normdiffusionsprozessen.
Lay summary

Normen spielen eine zunehmend wichtige Rolle in internationalen Mediationsprozessen. Von der Mediatorin wird nicht mehr nur erwartet, dass sie einen bewaffneten Konflikt endet, sondern sie soll vermehrt auch bestimmte Normen in einen Mediationsprozess einbinden. Dieses Forschungsprojekt geht der Frage nach, welche Normen zum normativen Rahmen in der Mediation gehören, ob und wie Mediatoren diese Normen fördern und imitieren; und welche Normen in Mediationsprozessen internalisiert wurden. Im Projekt werden drei Fallstudien durchgeführt. Diese unterscheiden sich nach der mandatsgebenden Instanz: eine internationale Organisation (die Vereinten Nationen), eine regionale Organisation (die Afrikanische Union) und Nichtregierungsorganisationen. Danach wird eine Analyse auf zwei Ebenen gemacht. Zum einen schaut sich das Projekt die kausalen Prozesse innerhalb eines Falles an und analysiert die Diffusion von Normen durch die Mediatorin. Zum andern macht das Projekt einen Vergleich zwischen den Fällen und untersucht inwiefern sich die Rolle des Mediators von einem Mandatsgeber zum andern unterscheidet. Dabei trägt das Projekt zur akademischen Literatur zur Normendiffusion bei und liefert empirische Daten für die analytische Abhandlung eines Themas, das bisher vor allem präskriptiv und in Debatten in der Praxis aufgenommen wurde. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.06.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
How Norms Matter in Mediation: An Introduction
Hellmüller Sara, Pring Jamie, Richmond Oliver (2020), How Norms Matter in Mediation: An Introduction, in Swiss Political Science Review, 26(4), 345-363.
The Normative Agency of Regional Organizations and Non‐governmental Organizations in International Peace Mediation*
Pring Jamie, Palmiano Federer Julia (2020), The Normative Agency of Regional Organizations and Non‐governmental Organizations in International Peace Mediation*, in Swiss Political Science Review, 26(4), 364-383.
Meaning‐Making in Peace‐Making: The Inclusion Norm at the Interplay between the United Nations and Civil Society in the Syrian Peace Process
Hellmüller Sara (2020), Meaning‐Making in Peace‐Making: The Inclusion Norm at the Interplay between the United Nations and Civil Society in the Syrian Peace Process, in Swiss Political Science Review, 26(4), 384-405.
Beyond Buzzwords: Civil Society Inclusion in Mediation
Hellmüller Sara (2019), Beyond Buzzwords: Civil Society Inclusion in Mediation, in How-Won Jeong (ed.), Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland, 47-63.
UN-led mediation in Syria and civil society
Hellmüller Sara, Zahar Marie-Joëlle (2019), UN-led mediation in Syria and civil society, Accord, London.
We do negotiate with terrorists: navigating liberal and illiberal norms in peace mediation
Palmiano Federer Julia (2018), We do negotiate with terrorists: navigating liberal and illiberal norms in peace mediation, in Critical Studies on Terrorism, 12(1), 19-39.
Against the Odds: Civil Society in the Intra-Syrian Talks
HellmüllerSara, ZaharMarie-Joëlle (2018), Against the Odds: Civil Society in the Intra-Syrian Talks, International Peace Institute, New York.
Six Aspects to Consider on the Interaction between Local and International Actors in Peace Processes
HellmüllerSara (2018), Six Aspects to Consider on the Interaction between Local and International Actors in Peace Processes, International Peace Institute, New York.
Including or Excluding Civil Society? The Role of the Mediation Mandate for South Sudan (2013–2015) and Zimbabwe (2008–2009)
Pring Jamie (2017), Including or Excluding Civil Society? The Role of the Mediation Mandate for South Sudan (2013–2015) and Zimbabwe (2008–2009), in African Security, 10(3-4), 223-238.
Are Mediators Norm Entrepreneurs?
Hellmüller Sara, Palmiano Federer Julia, Pring Jamie (2017), Are Mediators Norm Entrepreneurs?, swisspeace, Bern.
“The Primacy of the Union”: the Cognitive Prior of the Tatmadaw and its Effects on the Myanmar Peace Process
Palmiano Federer Julia, “The Primacy of the Union”: the Cognitive Prior of the Tatmadaw and its Effects on the Myanmar Peace Process, in New England Journal of Public Policy.
Cowboy or Maverick? The Normative Agency of NGO Mediators
Palmiano Federer Julia, Cowboy or Maverick? The Normative Agency of NGO Mediators, Bristol University Press, Bristol.
Inclusion and Performance as Sources of Legitimacy
HellmüllerSara, Inclusion and Performance as Sources of Legitimacy, in Richmond Oliver (ed.), Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
Norms and Recognition in Mediation Processes: Promoting Inclusivity in the Mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in South Sudan
PringJamie, Norms and Recognition in Mediation Processes: Promoting Inclusivity in the Mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in South Sudan, in Geis Anna, Clement Maéva, Pfeifer Anna (ed.), Manchester University Press, Manchester.
Shaping the Norm: Inclusivity at the Interplay between the UN and Syrian civil society
HellmüllerSara, Shaping the Norm: Inclusivity at the Interplay between the UN and Syrian civil society, in Swiss Political Science Review.
The Changing Role of Civil Society Actors in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding
HellmüllerSara, The Changing Role of Civil Society Actors in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding, in Hampson Fen Osler, Ozerdem Alp (ed.), Routledge, London / New York.
The Role of Norms in International Peace Mediation
Palmiano Federer Julia, Hellmüller Sara, Richmond Oliver, Pring Jamie (ed.), The Role of Norms in International Peace Mediation, Swiss Political Science Review, Switzerland.
The Trouble with Inclusivity: The Unforeseen Consequences of Norm Promotion in Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement
Palmiano Federer Julia, The Trouble with Inclusivity: The Unforeseen Consequences of Norm Promotion in Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, in Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.
Towards a more integrated approach? Cooperation among the United Nations, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in mediation support
Pring Jamie, Towards a more integrated approach? Cooperation among the United Nations, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in mediation support, in Wählisch Martina, Turner Catherine (ed.), Bristol University Press, Bristol.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Ja Nan Lahtaw, The Shalom (Nyein) Foundation Myanmar (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Simon Mason, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Laurie Nathan, Centre for Mediation in Africa, University of Pretoria South Africa (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Eileen Babbit, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Lars Kirchhoff, Center for Peace Mediation, European University Viadrina Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Northeastern University Summer School in Geneva Individual talk Lecture on “International Peace Mediation and the Role of Norms” 05.07.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Pring Jamie;
New Directions in Research on Myanmar Graduate Student Workshop Talk given at a conference From ‘Inclusivity’ to ‘All-Inclusiveness’: Norm Diffusion in Myanmar’s Peace Process 12.06.2019 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Palmiano Federer Julia;
Soziologie, Sozialpolitik, Sozialarbeit / Sociology, Social Politics, and Social Work Individual talk Lecture on “International Peace Mediation and the Role of Norms” 30.04.2019 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Pring Jamie;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference “The Normative Agency of Regional Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations in International Peace Mediation” 30.03.2019 Toronto, Canada Palmiano Federer Julia; Pring Jamie;
International Studies Association (ISA) Workshop, "Interrogating the Policy-Relevance of Peace Research: The Difficult Dialogue between Theory and Practice" Talk given at a conference Knowledge absorption in mediation: Probing the research-policy interface in institutionalizing Mediation Support Structures 26.03.2019 Toronto, Canada Pring Jamie;
Rethinking Mediation Talk given at a conference “Cowboys or Mavericks? The Normative Agency of NGO Mediators” 15.11.2018 New York, United States of America Palmiano Federer Julia;
Research Workshop on Islamist Armed Conflicts and the Prospects for Conflict Resolution Talk given at a conference We Do Negotiate with Terrorists: Norms, Mediation and Counter-Terrorism in Southeast Asia 29.09.2018 Luzern, Switzerland Palmiano Federer Julia;
Interdisciplinary Scientific Retreat on “State Trajectories in Africa: On Institutions, Identities, and Governance" Talk given at a conference The inclusion of civil society in South Sudan mediation (2013-2015) 11.07.2018 Basel, Switzerland Pring Jamie;
Helmut Schmidt University Workshop, "(Non-) Recognition of Armed Non-State Actors: Risks and Opportunities for Conflict Transformation" Talk given at a conference Norms and Recognition in Mediation Processes: Promoting Inclusivity in the Mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in South Sudan 29.06.2018 Hamburg, Germany Pring Jamie;
Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science PhD Colloquium with Prof. Peter J. Katzenstein Talk given at a conference Norms in International Peace Mediation: Promoting Inclusivity in the South Sudan Peace Process (2013-2015) 12.06.2018 Munich, Germany Pring Jamie;
Northeastern University Summer School in Geneva Individual talk Lecture on “The Future of Global Governance: International Peace Mediation” 18.05.2018 Geneva, Switzerland Pring Jamie; Palmiano Federer Julia;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference Geopolitics and Norm Diffusion in Regional Peace Mediation: The Case of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in South Sudan 04.04.2018 San Francisco, United States of America Pring Jamie;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference Context Matters: Theorizing the Relation between the Context of Armed Conflicts and the Inclusion of Civil Society in Peace Processes 03.04.2018 San Francisco, United States of America Hellmüller Sara;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference Towards a More Integrated Approach? Cooperation among the UN, AU, and Sub-regional Organizations in Mediation Support 25.10.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Pring Jamie;
Annual Academic Conference on Mediation Talk given at a conference Norm Diffusion and All-Inclusiveness in the Myanmar Peace Process: Dealmaker or Dealbreaker? 18.07.2017 Rio de Janiero, Brazil Palmiano Federer Julia;
Academic Conference in Mediation Talk given at a conference Civil Society's Inclusion in the South Sudan Peace Process (2013-2015) 18.07.2017 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Pring Jamie;
Academic Conference in Mediation Talk given at a conference Towards a More Integrated Approach? Cooperation among the UN, AU, and Sub-regional Organizations in Mediation Support 17.07.2017 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Pring Jamie;
European Conference in African Studies (ECAS) Talk given at a conference A Battleground in Itself: Civil Society’s inclusion in the South Sudan Peace Process (2013-2015) 29.06.2017 Basel, Switzerland Pring Jamie;
Political Science Seminar Individual talk Civil Society in Peacebuilding 20.04.2017 Basel, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convetion Talk given at a conference Navigating Illiberal Norms in International Peace Mediation 22.02.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Palmiano Federer Julia;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference Qualifying Change: Localizing Inclusivity in the South Sudan Peace Process 22.02.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Pring Jamie;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference “From Buzzword to Broadened Analysis: Inclusivity and the IR Literature” and “Spreading the Norm: the Diffusion of Inclusivity in Mediation Processes” 22.02.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Hellmüller Sara;
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference Talk given at a conference Norm Localization in IGAD and SADC Mediation: An Initial Comparison 10.09.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Pring Jamie;
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference Talk given at a conference “The Inclusivity Norm in the Intra-Syrian Peace Process” 07.09.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Hellmüller Sara;
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference Talk given at a conference The Normative Framework of Mediation 07.09.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Palmiano Federer Julia;
Annual Academic Conference on Mediation Talk given at a conference Are Mediators Norm Entrepreneurs? Exploring the Role of Mediators in Norm Diffusion 22.06.2016 University of Basel, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara; Pring Jamie; Palmiano Federer Julia;
International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention Talk given at a conference “Norm-Pushers or Deal-Brokers: Mediators’ Roles in Norm Diffusion” 16.03.2016 Atlanta, United States of America Hellmüller Sara;
Swiss Political Science Association Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Exploring Mediators' Normative Agency through a Nuanced Approach on Norm Localization 22.01.2016 University of Basel, Switzerland Pring Jamie;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Ringvorlesung zu Syrien Talk 03.12.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
MAS in Mediation Talk 17.10.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
ASEAN Regional Forum Talk 20.09.2018 Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar Palmiano Federer Julia;
Conference on Mediation Talk 09.11.2017 Lucerne, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
Video Interview, Global South Unit on Mediation Talk 18.07.2017 Rio de Janiero, Brazil Palmiano Federer Julia;
CAS in Civilian Peacebuilding Talk 19.05.2017 Basel, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices Talk 08.02.2017 Geneva, Switzerland Hellmüller Sara;
Challenges to Mediation Support in Hot Wars: Learnings from Syria and Ukraine Talk 13.10.2015 Atlanta, United States of America Hellmüller Sara;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Newspaper interview on International Peace Mediation O Globo International 2017
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Understanding Mediation Support Structures International 2017
Media relations: radio, television Peacebuilding in DR Congo and Syria Ö1 International 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Syria: In Search for Solutions International 2015

Awards

Title Year
University of Basel Antelope@University Program for female PhD Students 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
171107 Emerging powers and the importance of Southern soft power resources in peace processes 01.10.2016 International short research visits

Abstract

Norms play an increasingly important role in mediation processes. Mediators are no longer supposed to only bring a conflict to an end, they are also asked to integrate certain norms into mediation processes. However, although the role and diffusion of norms have been widely researched in international relations and peacebuilding literature, the same does not count for the field of mediation. While the conditions under which mediation leads to a sustainable agreement have been assessed, the role of mediators in norm diffusion has only been treated in a largely prescriptive way in policy debates. This is surprising given the fact that mediation is at the core of a wider peacebuilding process.This project seeks to shed light on the role of mediators in norm diffusion by asking to what extent mediators are norm entrepreneurs defined by Finnemore and Sikkink (1998: 895) as actors who “attempt to convince a critical mass of [actors] to embrace new norms”. More specifically, it addresses the questions of what norms belong to the normative framework for mediation processes; whether mediators promote and imitate norms and how; and which norms have been internalized in mediation processes. Thereby, the project responds to three biases in current research on norm diffusion. First, it also allows insights into those norms that have not diffused in contrast to earlier research which has largely neglected instances of non-diffusion. Second, norm diffusion will neither be seen as a priori positive or negative compared to current analyses which often portray it as inherently positive. Third, the project allows for agency of actors while earlier research mainly focused on the influence of the structure on agents.Methodologically, the project is based on a combination of case study and process-tracing. Three cases of mediators are chosen which are mandated by the most typical actors in the mediation field: an intergovernmental organization (the United Nations (UN)), a regional organization (the African Union (AU)) and a state (Switzerland). On the basis of these three cases, a two-level analysis is conducted. First, and most importantly, the project assesses causal processes at the within-case level focusing on the agency of mediators. It does this through process-tracing because it allows for an in-depth description of a trajectory of change, namely the process of norm diffusion, and analyzes closely the sequences of independent, dependent, and intervening variables. Second, it conducts a comparison at the cross-case level examining how the role of mediators as norm entrepreneurs varies between the three cases. Data is collected through content analysis, interviews, focus group discussions as well as participant observation.The main contribution of the proposed research project is twofold. First, it addresses three important gaps in academic literature on norm diffusion and second, it adds empirical evidence to an often merely policy-based prescriptive debate on the role of mediators in norm diffusion. As such, this project makes a coherent and highly important contribution to scientific debates.
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