Perceptions of the EU's Role in the Ukraine-Russia and the Israel-Palestine Conflicts: A Biased Mediator?

Ole Elgström, Natalia Chaban, Michèle Knodt, Patrick Müller, Sharon Pardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article focuses on how the European Union's (EU) mediation activities during the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine conflicts are perceived by local elites. Our analysis is based on recent interviews with decision makers in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine. Consistent with this special issue, we investigate perceptions of EU roles, strategies and effectiveness. We suggest that the EU's relation to the parties may affect their perceptions of EU conflict mediation efforts. Specifically, we expect that the EU is perceived as a biased mediator in both cases due to perceived close relations to one or more conflict parties. However, contrary to our expectations and widespread assumption in mediation theory, while such a bias exists, we found it is not perceived as a main cause of EU ineffectiveness. Other factors, including the prominence of other mediators and internal EU disunity, are perceived as more detrimental to EU efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-318
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Negotiation
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • EU external perceptions
  • European Union (EU)
  • Israel-Palestine conflict
  • Russia-Ukraine conflict
  • mediator

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