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Authors

Sara Hellmüller

Sara Hellmüller holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Basel. She joined swisspeace in 2009. She works as a researcher and programme officer in the Mediation Programme and is the swisspeace research coordinator and regional focal point for Syria. Before joining swisspeace, she in...
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Julia Palmiano Federer

Julia Palmiano Federer holds a MA in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Before joining swisspeace, she interned with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Human Rights Watch and the Centre for Hum...
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Mathias Zeller

Mathias Zeller holds a MA in International Affairs from New York’s Columbia University. He spent three months in 2013 with the Mediation Support Unit of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs in New York. He joined swisspeace in July 2012 as a programme officer in the Mediation Progra...
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Policy brief: The role of norms in international peace mediation

Sara Hellmüller, Julia Palmiano Federer, Mathias Zeller, 20 May 2015

This policy brief assesses the role of norms in international peace mediation. Despite the topic attracting growing attention, the ways in which norms influence mediation processes are often not analysed systematically but rather prescriptively. In order to shed light on this debate from an analytical point of view, the brief suggests a three-step analytical framework. First, it suggests a categorisation of norms, then it assesses how mediators prioritise norms within this framework and finally it calls for a context-specific inclusion of norms in mediation processes. Thus, it argues that explicitly elucidating the different categories of norms, as well as their prioritisation by mediators, mandate-givers and negotiating parties, will lead to a more constructive debate and provide sustainable solutions that are owned by national, and supported by international, actors.

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