This micro-course defines mediation and distinguishes it from negotiation. It describes the various roles a third party can play, including as a mediator, and the various steps one follows when organizing and facilitating a mediation process.

UN Security Council
UN Security Council meeting. Photo courtesy of the UN.

Course Overview

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of mediation;
  • Define mediation and identify the roles mediators play;
  • Identify the role identity plays in mediation; and
  • Recognize the basic principles behind effective mediation.

Overview Video

Click on the video below for an overview of the course.

If you cannot view the video, click here to download it.

Agenda

Section 1 - Introduction to Mediation

Provides a broad overview of mediation is and why it’s important.

Section 2 - Definitions & Historical Context

Defines mediation and the role mediators play.

Section 3 - Stories from the Field

Highlights the ways in which identity plays an important role in mediation.

Section 4 - Theory & Practice

Expands on the main theory behind effective mediation.

Section 5 - Quiz

Assesses your understanding and retention of key terms, concepts, and ideas presented in this course.

Section 6 - Scenario

Asks you to apply what you have learned to a fictional conflict scenario.

Section 7 - Reflections

Allows you to share what you have learned and read what others have learned from this course and how these skills and knowledge will impact the work we do.

The Mango Tree

In this course we present a scenario in which you can apply the theories and concepts covered in this course to a fictional situation. A scenario is comprised of situation examples and you are asked to determine the best solution to each situation. This scenario looks two neighboring families are in conflict over the fruit from a mango tree. The conflict has been escalating and there is real tension between the families. It is clear the situation will not resolve itself, and with the mango season approaching shortly, now is the time to act.

Instructors and Guest Experts

Related Publications

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Patricia Kim on North Korea Diplomacy

Thursday, March 14, 2019

By: Patricia M. Kim

Patricia Kim analyzes the failure of the Hanoi Summit. “China should lean in,” says Kim discussing the spectrum of tools Beijing has available from diplomacy to unilateral sanctions. In future negotiations, the U.S. should focus on “hammering out a clearly defined and time bound roadmap that ends with the de-nuclearization of North Korea.”

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India-Pakistan Tensions Test China’s Relationships, Crisis Management Role

India-Pakistan Tensions Test China’s Relationships, Crisis Management Role

Thursday, March 7, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes; Jennifer Staats

The latest India-Pakistan crisis has put China in a difficult position, as it tries to balance its relationships with both countries, while helping to stave off a conflict and demonstrate its ability to manage and resolve crises. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to leaders in both Pakistan and India last week, urging them to practice restraint and find a way to deescalate the situation. Despite Pakistan’s request for China to play a more active role, competing priorities constrained the degree to which Beijing could lead—highlighting a chronic challenge for Chinese diplomacy in South Asia. China’s decision to keep a low profile is likely deliberate and in keeping with longstanding practice, but it is inconsistent with Beijing’s aspirations to lead in Asian crisis diplomacy.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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