Mediator, Negotiator, Diplomat?

The upcoming “direct talks” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process are in the news.  Some stories reference “mediators”, some “negotiators”, some “diplomats”.  So what’s in a name? Does it matter what the people are called?

In these high profile situations, it seems at times that the connotation of a word can mean as much as the denotation — a strict dictionary definition isn’t enough. Ultimately, the parties’ perceptions are essential,  including the perceptions of the representatives in a direct talk and those representatives’ constituencies, however that might be defined.

Most important is that the neutral, whatever that person is called, is exactly that: neutral.

Posted in Conflict Resolution in the News, Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

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