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Perks Diplomacy: The Role of Perquisites in Mediation

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Abstract This article examines impacts of luxurious perks, such as paid daily allowances on peace talks. It draws on the case of the Burundian peace processes held in Arusha, Tanzania and the Seventh Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks held in Abuja, Nigeria to show that perks can unintentionally prolong peace talks. Perks bestowed on delegates to the talks seduced the conflicting parties away from whatever interest they might have had in actually reaching an agreement. For some, living free of charge in five-star hotels and receiving the equivalent of five months’ pay in one week of per diems made continued talks more attractive than achieving peace. Many of the feuding parties found the perks of greater value for their effort – or rather, lack thereof – and they shared an incentive to keep the talks going.

Affiliations: 1: New College/Munk School of Global Affairs 45 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1C7


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