Peacemaking, especially in the literature on third-party contributions to dispute resolution, is concerned especially with the conditions whereby mutually acceptable settlement of disputes can be achieved. There are circumstances under which coercive settlement can be useful. Dominance by one party may help propel movement toward a settlement, as can the power of a third-party intervener who is not neutral. This understanding informs recent developments in the role of United Nations peacekeeping, shifting away from traditional peacekeeping (impartial, largely nonviolent, with the consent of the parties, only after a ceasefire has been achieved) to more active and vigorous efforts to enforce peace.
Third-party dispute resolution methods constitute one set of those normative and institutional constraints, and international organizations are some of the principal actors attempting to create those constraints and produce a positive peace. International organizations, a key part of this Kantian understanding, may play a legal role, adjudicating and arbitrating disputes. In doing so, they reduce the cost of enforcing contracts, encourage their creation and promote exchange of concessions. This in turn, facilitates interdependence. Institutions like the European Court of Justice or the Permanent Court of Arbitration may incorporate a degree of voluntarism in states' participation, and rarely is enforcement carried out by the threat or use of military force. IGOs can also mediate disputes or provide diplomatic, good offices, where the capability of enforcing settlements is explicitly absent. Manlio Brosio, as Secretary-General of NATO, helped mediate the dispute between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus in 1967 and was able to avert widening of the war. Even while caring for refugees fleeing across inter-state borders from civil wars, as in Rwanda, IGOs may provide useful services of mediation (Bercovitch, Schneider, 2000).
Problems with Peacemaking Literature
Many theorists of international relations neglect peacemaking leaving it to practitioners and to proponents of psychological and sociological approaches. The result is literature with a relatively prescriptive; and ad hoc case study approach that leaves a wide gap between it and mainstream concerns in international relations theory. That gap hampers dialogue and pushes the topic to the periphery, far from its real importance in the day-today practice of international relations. Theory regarding it has not evolved into coherent schools of thought with clear direction or an accepted framework. Indeed, recognizable theory of any sort is often lacking. How-to-do-it books of advice abound, but disparate propositions or hypotheses ...