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Trust after Betrayal Research Brief Series


Research Brief:
Insider Mediators and Trust Building

Author(s): Izzy van Unen (Clingendael Institute)

Published: April 2023

This research brief examines the crucial role of insider mediators, individuals with authoritative  personal connections to violence-affected communities, in conflict resolution. They establish trust through pre-existing relationships and are perceived as impartial and trustworthy by conflicting parties. Insider mediators navigate complex social dynamics, identifying culturally appropriate solutions acceptable to all sides. By promoting communication and dialogue, they create safe spaces for discussions, reduce tensions, and foster understanding between conflicting parties. Their involvement in drafting peace agreements ensures proposals align with ground realities, enhancing their implementability and long-term sustainability. Moreover, insider mediators contribute to their viability by fostering ongoing communication and cooperation, identifying potential conflicts, and acting as early warning systems. Recognising and supporting the role of insider mediators is essential for inclusive and effective conflict resolution, promoting healing and reconciliation within conflict-affected societies. 

To cite this research brief:
Van Unen, Izzy. 2023. “Research Brief: Insider Mediators and Trust Building”. Trust After Betrayal. 

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