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

Yes, we can meet on online. But can we negotiate peace there?

Yes, we can meet on online. But can we negotiate peace there?

Friday, May 15, 2020

By: Juan Diaz-Prinz, Ph.D.

The spread of the coronavirus has forced mediators and their international partners to halt the face-to-face meetings typically used in building peace. Feeling a sense of urgency, practitioners have scrambled to upgrade their use of alternatives—notably online consultations, dialogues and workshops. Digital tools are being quickly developed that could provide opportunities for peacebuilding unimaginable just a couple of years ago. How can we ensure that this development, now accelerated by the COVID pandemic, remains viable in practice?

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Keith Mines; Steve Hege

Helping Venezuela resolve its political crisis will be vital to containing the potentially catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic there. A truce in the country’s power struggle is urgent, and last week’s U.S. proposal for a transitional government offers useful ideas, even for a naturally skeptical governing regime. Advancing them would benefit from mediation, perhaps by the Vatican or the United Nations, and will require cooperation among the major powers—the United States, Russia and China—involved in the crisis. If Venezuelans and outsiders can join against the common human threat of coronavirus, that could lay foundations for an eventual political solution to the decade of turmoil that has brewed the hemisphere’s worst humanitarian disaster.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

How Interactive Conflict Resolution Empowers Youth in China and Taiwan

How Interactive Conflict Resolution Empowers Youth in China and Taiwan

Friday, January 24, 2020

By: Paul Kyumin Lee

While the international community has been closely watching the violent showdown between police and protesters in Hong Kong, many are concerned that the next crisis involving China could happen with Taiwan, a longstanding partner of the United States and a beacon of democratic values in East Asia. Beijing's increasingly aggressive policy toward Taiwan, a hardening of identities on both sides of the Strait, and President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent reelection in Taipei reflect two seemingly irreconcilable core interests...

Type: Blog

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Youth

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