The impact of domestic politics on mediation behavior
Biçer, Esra (2017) The impact of domestic politics on mediation behavior. [Thesis]
Why do states intervene in other countries' conflicts as mediators? The main answer to this question in the mediation literature is that states care about conflict outcomes and mediation is an attempt to influence these outcomes. In this thesis, I argue that domestic political conditions in a country also have an effect on its likelihood of attempting mediation. I propose that leaders are more likely to become a mediator when they feel vulnerable because of poor performance in domestic politics or economy. More specifically, I expect politically vulnerable leaders to use mediation as a tool to raise their domestic popularity. I test the plausibility of this prediction by conducting linear regression analysis on how domestic political factors affect OECD countries’ mediation attempts between 1950 and 2000. I do not find consistent evidence of a relationship between mediation attempts and domestic factors. Instead, the results show that mediation attempts become less likely when domestic conditions are poorer. Although the findings are contrary to my hypotheses, this thesis contributes to the literature by showing that countries that are stronger in economic, military and, political terms are more likely to become mediators.
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