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Durham Global Security Institute

Conflict Mediation

Course Date: 4-6 December 2014

Course Leader: Professor Nick Lewer

Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, Durham University with international and community based mediation and conflict resolution experience. Prior to his appointment at Durham Nick worked Sri Lanka as the Lead Facilitator at the Sri Lanka One-Text Initiative ( a dialogue forum) and delivering PG conflict resolution and security studies for higher education programmes in conflict affected areas.

Course Summary

Mediation can be described as a process of engagement by an outside third party into a conflict with the objective of facilitating dialogue and promoting negotiation with the objective of ending the violence and bringing the disputing parties to a dialogue table to talk about resolving their conflict. This course will focus on the operational skills and techniques necessary for mediation of violent conflict. 

The first part of the course will look at mediation concepts and terminology, and locate mediation within the broader spectrum of intervention approaches such as arbitration, facilitation, negotiation, and reconciliation. Course participants will practice and refine foundational mediation skills using role plays based around personal and community conflict simulation exercises. The second part of the course will build on day one and look at international mediation, with a particular focus on ‘non-official’ mediation as examined through the lens of an international mediation simulation exercise.

By the end of the course participants will:

  • have developed and practiced skills and techniques necessary for effective mediation and have more confidence in their own mediation skills and capability
  • have an advanced knowledge of third-party mediation processes and how these are impacted upon by internal and external influences
  • be able to design a mediation process within an ethical framework that incorporates good practice and accountability

Course participants will be sent necessary briefing papers in advance of the workshop.

Course Outline

Friday 5th December

1. Mediation: Why Mediation? What is it? Definitions, Concepts, Terminology

2. Personal Mediation Skills and Qualities

3. Mediation Analysis Tools

4. A Mediation Process

5. Building a Mediation Team

6. Ethical Questions

7. Community Mediation Exercise

Saturday 6th December

1. International ‘non-official’ mediation case studies illustrating issues of: power imbalances; political violence; state-non/ state actors; legitimacy; access; strategies; sequencing; motivation; accountability

2. International Mediation Exercise

3. Debrief


Course Fees: £280 per course

What is included:

  • Tuition and course materials
  • Welcome dinner
  • Lunch and refreshments for Friday and Saturday
  • Saturday dinner
  • Bed and breakfast for two nights (additional nights can be secured at £50.00 per night)

Deadline for applications

Two weeks before the course commences.


Bursaries of £140 are available at the discretion of the Institute. Contact Dr Lorraine Holmes for details.


A non-refundable deposit of £200 must be paid with the booking, the balance is due on Friday the week

preceding the commencement of the course.

Once the deposit has been paid access will be given to the course website which includes preparatory

reading materials and a full programme.

For more information contact: