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Introduction: The EU as International Mediator – Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

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image of International Negotiation

In this introductory article of the special issue, we examine European Union (EU) mediation practice and identify different conceptual and empirical perspectives from which it can be analyzed. We present different understandings of mediation in research and practice a definition and conceptual clarification of EU mediation practice, and offer a definition that covers mediation efforts and mediation support activities. Then, the institutional architecture for EU mediation activities is presented. Next, the focus of this special issue is examined and research questions that have not yet been sufficiently addressed in existing research of EU foreign policy and mediation are discussed. Based on these questions, we offer several fruitful avenues for studying EU mediation: examining the drivers of EU mediation, EU mediation roles and strategies, and EU mediation effectiveness. Finally, we provide an overview of the contributions to this special issue is presented.

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