Making disorder more manageable: The short-term effectiveness of local mediation in Darfur


Much of the quantitative conflict resolution literature focuses on mediation between states or on efforts to end a civil war through a comprehensive peace agreement that brings peace to the entire country. This article instead analyses the effectiveness of mediation between a wide range of armed actors on a subnational level. Utilizing unique data on Darfur covering the January 2008–August 2009 period, this article finds that mediation efforts following armed clashes in a given area significantly prolong local lulls in fighting in this area. This finding remains robust when controlling for the presence of a peacekeeping base, battle-deaths and the type of armed actors engaged in armed clashes. In addition, the finding remains robust when accounting for the non-random assignment of mediation efforts through matching similar observations in the dataset. Finally, anecdotal evidence from sites of armed conflict beyond Darfur suggest that the findings from this study might also hold in other armed conflicts.

Journal of Peace Research