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Restoration or establishment of improved relations between states and governments that were previously estranged.

Rational Choice Theory

From the field of economics, the theory that people act rationally, that is, they try to maximize gains and minimize losses.


In mediation, readiness means having operational and political capacity (requisite people and skills, necessary resources and institutional support, solid and durable mandate, and the right leaders

Realism or Realpolitik

A school of thought that views the international system as inherently chaotic and sees the state as the primary actor in international politics; the state’s goal is therefore the pursuit of power t


The long-term process by which the parties to a violent dispute build trust, learn to live cooperatively, and create a stable peace.


The process of rebuilding degraded, damaged, or destroyed political, socioeconomic, and physical infrastructure of a country or territory to create the foundation for long-term development.


To look at a problem from new perspectives in order to find ways to reduce tensions or break a deadlock.


A person who has been forced to leave their home, in particular as a result of armed conflict, generalized violence, violations of human rights, or natural or human made disasters, and has crossed

Regime Type

The set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized. Regime types include democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, and theocracy.

Regional Organization

Intergovernmental organizations that focus on a specific geographic area or group of countries, such as the African Union, Arab League, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, European Union, and O


A human response to a perceived non-physical reality concerning the origin, meaning, and purpose of life.

Rent Seeking

A somewhat confusing term that does not refer to rent in the usual sense but instead refers to lobbying the government for special privileges such as a subsidy, a tariff on competing goods, or a re


Compensation for war damage by a defeated state, or compensation to victims of mass crime committed by a former regime.

Responsibility to Protect (R2P or RTP):

A recently developed concept, R2P asserts that states have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect their people against genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing, b

Right of Return

The right of any person to re-enter his or her country of origin.


Period in a conflict where parties are most likely to be open to negotiation, usually due to conditions of a mutually hurting stalemate.

Risk Management

The identification of risks to an organization and the development of strategies and techniques to confront them.

Rule of Law

A principle of governance in which all persons and institutions, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly announced, equally enforced and independen

Rules of Engagement (ROE)

The rules delineating the circumstances and limitations under which force should be used by the military or police, including when, where, and against whom.