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

Progress in Taliban Talks, But ‘Long Way to Go’, says U.S. Envoy

Progress in Taliban Talks, But ‘Long Way to Go’, says U.S. Envoy

Monday, February 11, 2019

By: Adam Gallagher

Amid a series of positive developments in the Afghan peace process over the last year, a framework for negotiations reached between the U.S. and Taliban has renewed hope that the 17 year-old Afghan conflict could come to a close. Led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. has agreed in principle to a conditional withdraw of U.S. and allied troops in exchange for the Taliban pledging to not allow Afghanistan to be a safe haven for transnational terrorists, like al-Qaida, as well as agreeing to talks that include the Afghan government and a cease-fire. Despite this progress, “We are in the early stages of a protracted process,” Ambassador Khalilzad said at the U.S. Institute of Peace on February 8. “We have a long way to go.”

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

On to Vietnam: What Will Happen at the Second Trump-Kim Summit?

On to Vietnam: What Will Happen at the Second Trump-Kim Summit?

Thursday, February 7, 2019

By: Frank Aum; Jacob Stokes; Patricia M. Kim

At the State of the Union address this week, President Trump announced that he will again meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the end of February in Vietnam for their second face-to-face negotiations. The president’s announcement follows recent comments from U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun indicating that the U.S. is prepared to negotiate on both denuclearization and peace simultaneously—an approach that the Trump and former administrations previously eschewed. USIP’s North Korea and China experts examine the potential shift in U.S. policy and what concerns key regional players have over the next summit.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

U.S.-Taliban Talks Make ‘Significant Progress’: What’s Next?

U.S.-Taliban Talks Make ‘Significant Progress’: What’s Next?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

By: Scott Worden

After years of stalemate, a framework deal between the U.S. and the Taliban has inspired hope that the Afghan war—the longest in U.S. history—could come to an end. USIP’s Scott Worden analyzes the progress made in recent talks, why the U.S. is now directly negotiating with the Taliban and the implications of further negotiations and a potential peace deal on Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential election.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Amb. Joseph Yun on the Latest with North Korea

Amb. Joseph Yun on the Latest with North Korea

Thursday, September 20, 2018

By: Ambassador Joseph Yun

With the diplomatic process between the U.S. and North Korea at a stalemate, Ambassador Joseph Yun discusses the key takeaways from this week’s inter-Korean summit and the improvement in North-South relations. For Washington and Pyongyang to move forward, Yun says the two sides need to first agree on a definition of, and process for, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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