Mediation in Intrastate Conflicts : The Contribution of Track-Two Mediation Activities to Prevent Violence in the Aceh Conflict
Mediation and its possible contribution to the resolution of intrastate conflicts has gained increasing attention in today’s international arena. Especially the advantages of nongovernmental personnel to act as mediators (track-two mediation) even on the highest political level in contrast to official state representatives, or state-like authorities appear worth being identified. Successful past mediation initiatives by such actors have already presented their obvious potential in this regard. Following this assumption, this study analyses the question under which conditions mediation activities of nongovernmental actors – especially in relation to the question of the importance of a mediator’s kind and degree of leverage - can contribute to the prevention of violence in such conflicts? The report presents a theory-testing qualitative comparative case study of two mediation processes both of success and failure that have been conducted by nongovernmental actors in Aceh. Twelve hypotheses encompassing conditions identified as important for mediation success in intrastate conflicts have been tested on both cases in order to identify those factors, which apparently have been most crucial for the positive outcome of the successful mediation. These factors are related to the conflict, the conflicting parties as well as to the person of the mediator and present themselves as strongly contingent and interdependent in their impact on a mediation outcome. In particular, the empirical results of the analysis point out the importance of the question of leverage a nongovernmental mediator apparently needs to have on hand for a mediation to be successful. Given the necessary support official authorities can provide in cases when nongovernmental personnel appears to be the better suited mediator, this study emphasizes the need for a further constructive development of the communication and cooperation between international actors and interveners to a conflict on all levels of society.