Does a "Goldilocks Principle" for International Peacemaking Exist?

Academics often refer to a “Goldilocks Principle” to talk about a set of circumstances that create “just right” conditions for some aspect of their field of study. Astronomers, for instance, talk about “Goldilocks planets” that are the perfect distance from the nearest star to be the right temperature to support life. For economists, a “Goldilocks economy” is one that sustains moderate economic growth and low inflation.

Could a version of this principle apply to conflict resolution? Today, peacemakers from organizations like the United Nations are most often trapped between two types of conflict they are unlikely to fix. Some conflicts, like those in Syria and Ukraine, are too geopolitically sensitive for impartial mediators to resolve. Others, like gang wars in Latin America, are too complex and fragmented for outsiders to end. Few seem “just right” for resolution. 

Read the full World Politics Review article by CIC Non-Resident Fellow Richard Gowan here.

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Jul 30, 2018
Richard Gowan
Peace and Security