Also available as
In the contemporary discipline of conflict resolution, adjudication and
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are often seen as antagonistic trends.
This important book contends that, on the contrary, it is the bringing
together of these trends that holds the most promise for an effective system
of international justice. With great insight and passion, built firmly on a
vast knowledge of the field, Lars Kirchhoff exposes the contemporary
structural barriers to effective conflict resolution, defining where
adjudication ends and ADR—and particularly the recent development of mediated
third party intervention from an ‘art’ to a veritable ‘science’—must come into
The work starts by defining the challenges, potentials and shortcomings of
different approaches to conflict resolution in an interdependent world—where
the multiplicity of actors, topics and interests involved even in seemingly
bilateral conflict situations is clearly manifest—and goes on to define useful
models and connect the various elements relevant for the resolution of
conflicts in a transparent way. In the course of its investigation the book
accomplishes the following:
• illustrates the various departure points and perspectives scholars of
conflict resolution have taken as the basis for their work;
• discusses who should become involved in conflicts as a third party and by
which techniques this should occur;
• systematically conveys the nature and consequences of intervention through
mediation, focusing on the method’s critical challenges; and
• clarifies the particular model of international mediation under development
through UN initiatives..
In approaching these intertwined topics, the author draws concrete conclusions
for the realms of international law and related disciplines as well as for the
organizational context of the United Nations. He explores such diverse
scenarios as conflicts between States, conflicts involving international
organizations, and—in accordance with the changing parameters of international
law—even conflicts involving individuals, clarifying which constellations can
be tackled by international mediation and which conflicts should be dealt with
by other forms of diplomacy or adjudication.
It is the conviction of many intermediaries and scholars that the considerable
potential inherent in resolving conflicts peacefully is rarely put into
practice. Although some of the reasons for this phenomenon are beyond the
influence of scholarly debate, in many instances the reasons for failure of
peaceful resolution processes are more structural or systemic in nature. It is
the great virtue of this book that it establishes enough clarity in an unclear
and complex field to make concrete and workable recommendations in these
instances, and for that reason it will be of immeasurable value and benefit to
all scholars, policymakers, and activists dedicated to the pursuit of peace.
Preface. Aims and Design of the Book.
1. Determining Adequate Perspectives.
2. Third Parties and Conflicts.
3. Adjudication and ADR.
4. Analyzing International Mediation.
5. Implementation of Observations.