Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Understanding Mediator Style

Project Period


Project Leader

Mathilda Lindgren, PhD Candidate

Main Supervisor

Desirée Nilsson, Associate Professor

Assistant Supervisor

Anders Themnér, Assistant Professor

Project Description

Previous research on mediation in armed conflicts suggests that the goals and salient behaviours, i.e. the mediator styles, of external third parties matters for the outcome of mediations. One such very prominent third party peacemaker is the organisation, both inter-governmental (IGO) and non-governmental (NGO). But what explains mediator style of individuals working for peacemaking organizatios in armed conflict contexts in the first place?

This research project sheds light on this question by studying mediator styles of individual mediators and mediation team members representing various IGOs and NGOs. It explores the causal influence of a variety of contextual factors as well as individual features of the mediating actors on different mediator styles.

The project leverages a mixed-method approach combining survey experiments and in-depth interviews. One part of the survey was implemented with UN staff and course participants of the Folke Bernadotte Academy in June 2014. A second survey is implemented during the fall of 2015 with several peacemaking organisations. Semi-structured in-depth interviews will further explore some of the main survey results on mediator style and the potential mechanisms behind mediator style.

Related Publications and Working Papers

Lindgren, Mathilda. Working paper. Understanding Mediator Style: Introducing a Research Project. Paper presented at the Research Paper Seminar of Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, 26 February 2014. 

Main Financial Support

Field research is funded by research grants from Swedish funding agencies and scholarships.

Survey Instrument Solution

The survey instrument solution is provided by the Swedish company Action Dialog Partner.

Research Donations

The June 2014 survey round response rate contributed to a 158 EUR donation to the work of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Main Researchers and Responsible Authority

The project leader and main implementing researcher is Doctoral Candidate Mathilda Lindgren, the main responsible researcher is her main supervisor Associate Professor Desirée Nilsson and Lindgren's assistant supervisor is Assistant Professor Anders Themnér, all working at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Uppsala University is the main authority for the project.

If you have any questions about the project or participation, please contact:

Mathilda Lindgren, Project Leader
Office: +46(0)18 4712346

Desirée Nilsson, Main Responsible Researcher
Office: +46(0)18 4712355