Secrecy and Self-Interest: When Mediators Act Deceitfully

Babak RezaeeDaryakenari, Cameron Thies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


3rd party intervention in interstate conflict is a common strategy for mitigating conflict and obtaining a final agreement. However, not all mediations are successful, leading to the development of a rich literature on the mechanisms which decrease the probability of failure in a 3rd-party intervention. Within this literature, some studies examine how a mediator’ behavior and incentives affect the result of the mediation. Virtually all these studies assume that the mediator is virtuous such that peace is the most desired outcome of a conflict for her. However, this study challenges this assumption and contends that a mediator can gain benefit from the conflict between disputants. If this benefit is adequately large to overcome the benefits of peace, then the mediator has enough incentive not to conduct the mediation toward a peaceful outcome. We develop a signaling game model to study this issue formally and test the proposed hypothesis empirically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-630
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018


  • International conflict
  • international mediation
  • private information
  • private interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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