Mediation and reconciliation in political conflicts – Humanitarian intervention in Kosovo, reconciliation and negotiating its future

  • Manton, Ida
    Individual researcher/trainer in International Negotiations, Tchèque République


The paper will discuss the responsibility of the international community to intervene in existing conflicts, as well as their responsibility to provide for a successful reconciliation after interfering in a conflict. The term "right of humanitarian intervention" opened debates addressing the questions as to when, if ever, it is appropriate for states to take coercive and/or military action against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that state. The concept of humanitarian intervention has been controversial both when it happens, as well as when it has failed to happen. If the international community intervenes, it may or may not be able to mitigate various abuses. If it stays disengaged, there is the risk of becoming a complicit bystander in massacres, ethnic cleansing, war crimes or genocide.

The development of the concept of humanitarian intervention over the past decade has been significant. However, even more significant are the attempts to build up sustainable societies after the end of the violent conflict, to make sure proper reconciliation took place and all of the actors can live with the outcome that will be implemented without leaving space for reoccurrence of the same grievances to the surface. Mediation is equally important in the phase of reconciliation as it is in the pre and post-conflict phases.

Kosovo was the first widely accepted intervention. Before Kosovo triggered a debate, which led to changes in the way humanitarian interventions are seen and conducted, UN hoped those would be launched only after Security Council’s (SC) consent.

This paper will analyze the legitimacy and role of the International Community in the process of reconciliation and mediating a peaceful future for Kosovo and Serbia.


Humanitarian intervention, responsibility-to-protect, Kosovo, mediation, reconciliation.

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