AbstractsPolitical Science

Third-Party Coordination in Conflict Resolution: Views from Third-Party Practitioners in the Maoist Armed Conflict of Nepal and the Moro Conflict of the Philippines

by Prakash Bhattarai

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: third-party; mediation; intervention; coordination; Nepal; Philippines; conflict-resolution; armed-conflict; peace-process
Record ID: 1308775
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4967


A growing field within mediation research explores issues of multiparty intervention and third-party coordination. The existing literature highlights third-party coordination as a problematic but extremely important conflict intervention strategy; however, it lacks an in-depth understanding of fundamental aspects of third-party coordination. In the light of this research gap, this study explores three fundamental themes related to third-party coordination in conflict resolution: conditions for third-party coordination; the influence of relationship dynamics and power status of third parties on coordination; and the effectiveness of third-party coordination. These themes are elaborated by means of an analysis of two case studies: the Maoist armed conflict of Nepal and the Moro conflict of the Philippines. The research finds that third-party coordination is a contingent process, with varying needs and relevance in different phases and types of conflict. Context, policy and motive are three key factors influencing third parties’ readiness to coordinate. Power differences among third parties, their attitudes towards each other, differences in intervention strategies and priorities, the nature of conflicts, and the actions taken by the conflicting parties are five contextual factors that influence the dynamics of third-party relationships. Shared intervention goals and a convergence of interests among local and external third parties contribute to conflict resolution both during the conflict and in the political normalisation phase. Formalised intervention mechanisms mandated by the conflicting parties are found to be more strongly correlated with conflict resolution than informal and independent third-party interventions.