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EU Mediation Practices in Ukraine during Revolutions: What Authority as a Peacemaker?

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This article compares two different experiences of EU engagement in mediation in Ukraine: the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Euromaidan crisis in 2013–2014. This comparison reflects two different outcomes of EU mediation practices under similar circumstances of political conflict between domestic political actors. The changing degree of collective EU authority recognized by other actors is the main driver behind varying EU mediation practices and outcomes. Authority conferred on the EU as a collective actor represents the legitimacy of its power, resources and competence to conduct mediation. However, such authority is always circumscribed by crisis-specific circumstances and volatile configurations of forces. Therefore, differing degrees of authority explain shifts in the effectiveness of EU mediation. To capture the authority of EU mediators in specific crisis situations, this article employs and interprets firsthand accounts of the experiences of actors directly involved in mediation.

Affiliations: 1: Maastricht University, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD MaastrichtThe Netherlands


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