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Learning to Mediate? The Mediation Support Unit and the Production of Expertise by the UN

Abstract : The UN Mediation Support Unit (MSU) was created to support peace processes and enable organizational learning. This article analyses the unit through a sociological lens with the aim to understand its present configuration, and what this reveals about the production of knowledge about mediation at the UN. It argues that, because of the constraints imposed by intrastate wars and the existing institutional setting within the Secretariat, the MSU emphasizes generic and depoliticized expertise, by contrast with mediation's traditional reliance on non-transferable skills. This approach, in spite of its pitfalls, enables the unit to justify its own existence and to claim a position of authority within the organization and beyond.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 1:40:01 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 5, 2021 - 4:23:27 AM

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Elodie Convergne. Learning to Mediate? The Mediation Support Unit and the Production of Expertise by the UN. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2016, 10 (2), pp.181 - 199. ⟨10.1080/17502977.2015.1079959⟩. ⟨hal-03414414⟩

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