1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The issue of conflict has become one of the regular headlines in the daily
news of the world media today. Many countries in the world have suffered from
one conflict or another, ranging from religious, civil, political, cultural, regional
and ethnic violent such as in Nigeria, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Liberia,
Cambodia and so on. The most disturbing part of these acts of conflicts around the
globe is that most of them have traced their roots to religion. Even some
perpetrators of these acts of conflicts most of the time justify their actions with
religion, thereby making religion an object of conflict.
Prevalent violent conflict on the African continent has been addressed by
numerous scholars, advancing various reasons to explain the continuous conflicts
on the continent.
The scholars (such as Jackson 2000, 2002; Okoth and Ogot 2000; Adedeji
1999; Khadiagala 2006; and Taiser and Mathews 1999) agree in their description
of Africa as the least developed continent economically, yet the most conflict
prone politically. What has been the main focus of these scholars is the shift in
Africa‟s conflicts, from conflicts between states to conflicts within states, internal
conflicts, civil wars, intra-state conflicts or new wars (Kaldor 1999:33-118;
In the post-independent period, statehood in Africa has been characterized
by internal wars. Every region has experienced armed conflict at some time since
the early 1960‟s (Busumtwi 1999:259). Writing in 2002, Jackson observed how in
the last twenty years, internal conflict has occurred in half of Africa‟s countries.
For example in the mid 2001 there were serious internal conflicts in Algeria,,
Chad, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Angola. Many
other African states face instability, high levels of domestic political violence or
rebel movements such as in Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, and
Nigeria (Jackson 2002). This trend of events continues to this date and Africa has
arguably had the most significant share of these conflicts (Souare 200:369).
Conflict starts within the boundaries of a single state but fighting spills over
into the neighboring states; conflicts are protracted over many years, involve
multiple actors, ranges from government armed forces, militias, warlords, to
criminal gangs presenting a multitude of challenges and demanding different
responses from the International communities. Africa‟s conflicts have ranged from
ideological conflicts, governance, to racial conflicts, identity conflicts, religious
and environmental conflicts. One should also note the employment of extreme
means of pursuing conflict goals, such as extreme forms of violence. Violence is
deliberately targeted at civilians, and at entire groups rather than individuals, and it
presents a complete blurring of the lines between wars, organized crime and large
scale human rights violations (Kaldor 1999:2).
Furthermore, internal conflicts in Africa have led to various outcomes, for
example some have resulted in total state collapse as in Somaliaor semi state
collapse as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and others have led to secession
as in Eritrea. Also, there have been civil wars where regimes have changed as in
Liberia, warlord cases have been seen in Sierra Leone, and others have led to
temporary ceasefires as in Angola and Chad (Jackson 2002). Domestic violence is
not a gender issue, it is a social issue affecting men, women and children. It is also
not a new concept. Historically in old English law it was believed that a man was
allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb – „„the rule of
thumb‟‟. This belief was in fact never wrote into law, however before the reign of
Charles II, British Common Law permitted a man to give his wife „„moderate
correction‟‟ (Wikepedia, accessed 25/08/09). This type of attitude continued up
until modern times where domestic violence was untouched by law and viewed as
private business due to the fact that it occurred in the confines of the home. With
the introduction of the Domestic Violence Policy in 1996 and other social efforts
such as the setting up of refuges and help lines for victims of domestic violence,
this is no longer the case and there is more awareness of the problem and domestic
violence is now recognized as a social problem.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Non-coercive third-party intervention has become a common approach to
solving internal and international armed conflicts around the world. A great deal
of research illustrates that effective third-party intervention can put an end to
complex, protracted, and even intractable intrastate conflicts (Bercovitch and
DeRouen 2005, Wallensteen 2002).
However, there are cases in which unsystematic and immature third-party
intervention efforts have led countries towards either the recurrence of violent
conflict within a few years of signing a peace agreement or the failure of the
implementation of the peace agreement.
Empirical research shows that about half of all mediation efforts around the world,
particularly since the mid-1990s, have included more than one third party (Beber
2010, Lindgren, Wallensteen, and Grusell 2010). This trend towards an increasing
number of third parties suggests a growing interest in conflict resolution efforts
across the globe.
(Bercovitch and Jackson 2009, Crocker 2011, Crocker, Hampson, and Aall 2001b,
Crocker, Aall, and Hampson 1999b, Kriesberg 1996, Paris 2009, Svensson 2011).
Mediation and facilitation have traditionally been the most common forms of noncoercive third-party intervention in armed conflicts. They are often single-party
interventions performed by powerful nation states and the United Nations (UN) in
high-level negotiation processes.
This trend, however, has changed over the past two decades. Third-party roles
have expanded beyond mediation and the facilitation of high-level negotiation
processes to include new roles, such as the monitoring of ceasefires and peace
processes, providing support for post-negotiation initiatives, facilitating
reconciliation and peace building processes, and supporting conflict-affected
countries through development and humanitarian assistance. New types of thirdparty interveners have emerged along with the UN and powerful nation states.
Western nations that are politically less powerful in global governance structures
but are resource rich, such as the Scandinavian countries, local and international
peace building organizations, the European Union (EU), financial institutions
such as the World Bank, regional organizations such as the African Union, private
mediators, faith-based organizations, and local business communities are all
examples of newly emerging third-party entities. With an enlarged number of
third-party interveners acting in various capacities, with myriad roles, and in
different phases of conflict, the issue of coordination has garnered critical scrutiny.
In other words, third-party coordination is emerging as an important area of
inquiry in mediation research. However, it has not yet received sufficient scholarly
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
This study has been conducted with three major objectives in mind. First, it
aims to explore some of the key factors that play an influential role in the
occurrence of third-party coordination. An in-depth understanding of this issue is
particularly salient because it provides insights into some of the root causes of
third-party coordination problems. A more comprehensive knowledge of the
conditions for third-party coordination helps us to understand the underlying
factors that motivate (or demotivate) coordination among third parties, and thereby
to design the most effective third-party coordination strategies for particular
conflict-affected countries. The current literature on this issue provides only
general explanations, such as how the various institutional and policy interests of
third parties sometimes impede coordination and how the convergence of such
interests contributes to coordination (Crocker, Aall, and Hampson 1999a, Iji
2005). On its own, this approach does not help us to understand fully many of the
contextual and policy factors, as well as the motives behind the occurrence of
third-party coordination. This study aims to fill this lacuna.
1. To understand the status of third party intervention in conflict resolution in
2. To understand the status and acceptability of agreement to disputants in third
3. To understand the environment of third party post conflict resolution
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
In order to get information from respondents the following questions where
1. What are the various types of third party involvement in domesticvoilence?
2. Under what conditions do third parties coordinate their intervention efforts?
3. How do third-party relationship dynamics and power differentials influence
their coordination behaviours?
4. Why are more incident of domestic violence erroptedamong Liberia citizens
5. To what extent does third-party coordination contribute substantially to
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis will be tested
Ho: There is no correlation between third party involvement and the extent of
Hi: There is positive correlation between third party involvement and the extent of
Ho: That there are more incident of domestic violence among addicts of Liberia
Hi: That there is more incident of domestic violience among addicts of Liberia
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This research has the potential to make a contribution to both theory and policy in
the area of third-party coordination. In a broader framework, this empirical study
informs us about the limits and scope of third-party coordination in conflict
resolution processes, and further suggests a way to evaluate the extent to which it
can be considered an effective conflict intervention approach.
Theoretical and policy contributions of this research are promising because
the findings of this study are based on in-depth interviews and interactions with a
diverse range of third-party practitioners and other relevant stakeholders working
in real-world conflicts.
These are people who have perhaps the best understanding of various
dimensions of third-party coordination, because they confront coordination issues
on a regular basis.
Their stories related to coordination are well-grounded in reality. No
previous research has been conducted on this particular theme by incorporating
direct interaction with a wide range of interveners from two distinct conflict
The second potential contribution of this research concerns its articulation
of a set of empirically identified Contextual, Policy, and Motives (CPM) factors
that often contribute to the occurrence of third-party coordination. In the existing
conflict management literature, there are no such indicator-based explanations
regarding the occurrence of third-party coordination. I believe that the findings of
this research on this particular theme are well-developed and better conceptualized
than what has been discussed in the literature to date. Likewise, by examining two
different cases this research authenticates that third-party coordination is a
contextual process; the reasons for coordination in each armed conflict and peace
process are not the same. Nonetheless, factors related to the occurrence of thirdparty coordination can be explained under the CPM framework.
1.7 SCOPE& LIMITATIONS
The only real limitation encountered conducting the primary research was
the return rate on the domestic violence victim questionnaire. Twenty were sent to
male victims and thirty to female victims, of which eight were returned by the
males and seventeen by the females, an overall return rate of 50%. This was
deemed acceptable as all those that were returned were properly completed and
provided valuable information to complete the dissertation.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In this study, I use broad terms such as peace process, conflict resolution,
third-party interveners, third-party intervention, multiparty mediation/intervention,
third-party coordination, third-party relationship, and the power status of third
parties. This section summarizes the basic concepts and definitions used, and
present them as operational definitions for the purpose of this research.
Peace Process: There are many definitions of the term peace process. Saunders
has defined it as “a political process in which conflicts are resolved by peaceful
means” (Saunders 2001, p.483). A peace process can include a variety of
activities, such as confidence-building measures, risk-reduction strategies, good
offices, fact-finding or observer missions, conciliation and mediation efforts, and
the deployment of international forces, and all of these activities can be conducted
in different stages and phases of a peace process (USIP 2014).
Conflict Resolution: Like the term peace process, there are many definitions of
conflict resolution. Wallensteen defines conflict resolution “as a situation where
the conflicting parties enter into an agreement that solves their central
incompatibilities, accepts each other‟s continuous existence as parties and ceases
all violent action against each other” (Wallensteen 2011, p. 8).
Multiparty Mediation/Intervention: Beber (2010) has defined multiparty
mediation as the involvement of “more than one third party in either a primary or
secondary role” in conflict resolution processes
(Beber 2010, p. 17)
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