Power in mediation: does size matter?
The end of the Cold War saw the rise in the international belief that mediation was an art worth pursuing when in the 1990s increasing numbers of conflicts started ending by negotiation. Yet it is no coincidence that the end of the Cold War also saw the rise of a uni-polar world in which the US could act as a superpower for peace, backing, pushing, and where necessary bombing parties to the negotiating table. So does talk of a decline in US diplomatic power spell the end of this mediation heyday? Or does the power to make a durable peace come from multiple sources – the mediator’s personality, relationships within a process, perceptions from outside it, not to mention the political evolution of a country?