The Boy Who Plugs a Dike with His Finger: Un Mediation in the Gaza-Israel Crisis, 2018-2019

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article highlights the United Nations' potential contribution in the niche of crisis management. Drawing from the crisis-based approach's insights on crisis mediation efficacy, and Carnevale's conceptualization of the mediator's various strengths as the sources of leverage in mediation, the study explores UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov's mediation during the Gaza-Israel crisis in 2018-2019. I argue that a combination of contextual and behavioral factors enabled Mladenov to influence the crisis bargaining environment and pull Israel and Hamas back from the brink. These factors included both parties' need to avoid further escalation; the mediating skills of the UN envoy; the envoy's reputation, which led others to perceive him as the right person for the mediation mission; the UN mediator's use of a blend of strategies and tactics; and Mladenov's ability to apply a range of strengths, including hard power.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Negotiation
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jan 2022
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2022.


  • Crisis
  • Leverage
  • Mediation
  • United Nations


Dive into the research topics of 'The Boy Who Plugs a Dike with His Finger: Un Mediation in the Gaza-Israel Crisis, 2018-2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this