Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

Managing Borders in Triadic Negotiation Processes

  • Annually rotating, 2015: M.A. Imke Kerber, / Dr. Ben Wagner,
  • Yevgen Bogodistov,, Graduiertenkolleg "Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships", Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)/German Graduate School of Management and Law, Heilbronn
  • Imke Kerber,, Wiss. Mitarbeiterin, Center for Peace Mediation, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Prof. Dr. Lars Kirchhoff,, Wiss. Direktor des Instituts für Konfliktmanagement, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Dr. Anne Isabel Kraus,, Co-Leiterin des Center for Peace Mediation, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neyer,, Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Europäische und Internationale Politik, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Prof. Dr. Albrecht Söllner,, Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Allgemeine Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insb. Internationales Management, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Dr. Ben Wagner,, European University Institute, Florenz, Europa-Universität Viadrina
  • Prof. Dr. Jungbluth/Prof. Dr. Richter
  • Prof. Dr. Makowicz
  • Prof. Dr. Heintschel von Heinegg
  • Prof. Dr. Rowe/Prof. Dr. Thiele
  • Dr. Simon Mason, Head of the Mediation Support Team des Center for Security Studies, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
  • Prof. Philip Spencer, Director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence and Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University London
European University Viadrina
January 2014 - December 2016


Many conflicts cannot be satisfactorily resolved through bi- and multi-lateral negotiations, legal procedures or military interventions. Such intractable conflicts may include those between states themselves; between states and other actors (such as investors); or between interest groups within a state (for example, political and ethnic groups). Such situations thus generate a great demand for triadic negotiation processes, in which a third party mediates between the parties to a conflict and representatives of other interest groups.


In this context, the research project explores inter alia the actions of third parties during peace negotiations, investor-state disputes and inclusion policies. We have observed that third parties in these kinds of negotiation processes are confronted with various types of borders that limit the scope of their influence. Both borders and scope of influence are constantly renegotiated or modified through dynamic interaction processes – that´s what we call B/Orders in Motion –, so that they mutually constitute and (re)organize one another. The following types of borders are particularly relevant here:

A) Cognitive boundaries: The frames of perception, experience, interpretation and evaluation of the actors participating in and affected by negotiation processes (including third parties); their overlap defines the scope of possible and acceptable consensual agreements.

B) Normative boundaries: social, legal, moral, ethical norms and rules and behavioral expectations of all participating and affected actors, which third parties should respect if they wish to preserve their own acceptability.

C) Methodological boundaries: limitations in skills, techniques and instruments available to third parties that make third parties capitulate in the face of difficult situations in facilitating a negotiation process (also due to cognitive and normative limitations).

Research does not yet provide empirically and theoretically sufficient knowledge about the extent to which and manner in which third parties can best assess and expand their approach, relative to the degree of flexibility within these three types of boundaries.

Research Question

From this emerges the research question that is to be investigated from the perspectives of various disciplines: How can third parties proceed along borders in such a way that "good" is promoted?

Methodical Approach

The project brings together the fields of peace and conflict studies, law, philosophy, political science and economics with studies of third party mediation in various contexts. General categories for the analysis of borders are developed in order to use a common trans-disciplinary analytical grammar.