Discussions about ethics and philosophy can sometimes feel far removed from the concrete needs of diplomats and negotiators in high-pressure mediations. However, policies and mandates – whether they come from the United Nations or individual governments – often lack cohesiveness, and this leads to both ethical and practical problems. Furthermore, the policies and mandates can work against one another when they are not grounded in a shared understanding of what constitutes fairness, and to whom those policies and mandates are to be considered fair. This can have direct consequences for the success and legitimacy of peace negotiations. This raises the question: What makes peace negotiations fair?

This project is the first systematic investigation of ethical problems and solutions in peace negotiations and peace mediation. The project engages with existing debates on norms in peace negotiations and explores relevant philosophical perspectives. The project will develop a conceptual and philosophical framework for how to think normatively about negotiations or mediation in research, practice, and public debate.