Robert U. Nagel

Robert U. Nagel

Research

Mediation and Foreign Policy
with Govinda Clayton | DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.447

Mediation is now the most popular form of conflict management, and it has proven to be an effective means of resolving inter- and intrastate disputes. This article offers an overview of mediation in foreign policy. We first highlight which actors tend to perform mediatory roles, emphasizing the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual, state, and international organization mediators. Next we discuss the supply and demand of mediation, identifying the key conditions that promote third parties’ efforts to offer mediatory assistance and belligerents to accept the help of an intermediary. We then discuss the process and varying methods used by mediators, highlighting the range of actions from relatively soft facilitative mediation, up to more manipulative approaches. Finally we discuss the outcomes that mediation tends to produce and the conditions that influence the effectiveness of this preeminent foreign policy tool.

Gender relations and negotiations in intrastate conflicts
Revise & resubmit Journal of Peace Research

To what extent do gender relations in society influence the likelihood of negotiations during intrastate disputes? A substantial body of literature recognizes gender relations as integral to understanding conflict, yet they have received little attention in systematic studies of conflict management. I argue that patriarchal gender relations, those that reflect a preference for masculinity over femininity, influence belligerent’s susceptibility to negotiate. To explain how gender relations translate into shaping state behavior regarding conflict I draw on the concept of practices. Specifically, I contend that practices of excluding women from fully participating in public life legitimize and institutionalize violence as the preferred masculine way of managing conflict. The implication is that countries with more patriarchal gender relations are less likely to engage in negotiations during intrastate conflicts. I systematically test this argument on all civil conflict dyads between 1975 and 2014. The analysis shows that countries that marginalize women’s participation in public life are significantly less likely to engage in negotiations. The robust results provide strong support for my theoretical claims and offer systematic evidence in support of core claims of the feminist peace theory. These findings have implications for both the study and practice of civil war management.

Talking to the shameless? Sexual violence and conflict management in intrastate conflicts
Revise & resubmit at Journal of Conflict Resolution

To what extent does sexual violence influence the likelihood of conflict management in intrastate conflicts? Despite a growing body of research that explores conflict-related sexual violence, the literature presents little insight on its effects on conflict resolution. Extending feminist IR theory to intrastate conflicts and applying a gender lens to the power to hurt argument, I argue that when rebel sexual violence is public knowledge the likelihood of conflict management increases because the state perceives it as a threat to its masculinity. I systematically test this argument on all intrastate conflict years from 1990 to 2009 using the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) and the Civil War Mediation (CWM) dataset. The results provide robust support for the argument. This presents an important refinement of traditional rationalist conflict bargaining theories and opens new avenues for the research and practice of conflict management.

Sexual violence and conflict recurrence
Under review at Journal of Conflict Resolution

To what extent does sexual violence influence the likelihood of conflict recurrence? Despite a substantive body of research that explores conflict recurrence, the literature has largely neglected the role rebel group dynamics. I address this gap arguing that rebel sexual violence in inactive periods is associated with greater risks of conflict recurrence. Specifically, building on research that shows an association between recruitment and rape as a socialization method during civil war, I contend that when rebels perpetrate sexual violence in inactive periods it indicates on-going mobilization efforts. I derive four observable implications from this argument, which I systematically test on all intrastate post-conflict years from 1989 to 2015 using the updated Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict dataset and the Armed Conflict Termination dataset. The results provide robust support for the argument that rebel sexual violence increases the likelihood of conflict recurrence.