Mediating Agonistic Peace
Sammanfattning: Agonistic theory has expanded to many research fields including peace and conflict studies, but it has yet to be used in the study of mediation. This thesis aims to fill this void by exploring the theoretical agonism-mediation nexus. By using agonistic peace theory to perform a qualitative content analysis of the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation (GEM), a discussion on the theory’s relevance in the mediation profession is possible. To do this, the latent agonistic principles of inclusion, spaces for contestation and framing of mediation efforts are detected through repurposed analytical tools. The result is that the GEM corresponds to agonistic principles to a certain degree, but lacks in its dialogical approach and in a conceptualization of post-implementation peace. The thesis then addresses an agonistic mediation paradox of the finality of peace agreements from an open-oriented mediation process. It proposes a theoretical perspective on this paradox by developing Chantal Mouffe’s “moment of decision” as a multitude of moments in a mediation process that establishes conflictual consensus. As such, mediators can adopt a non-linear mediation design that allows for enemies to turn into adversaries.
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