Private Peace Entrepreneurs in Conflict Resolution Processes

Lior Lehrs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Private peace entrepreneurs (ppes) are private citizens with no official authority who initiate diplomatic correspondence with official representatives from the opposing side during a conflict in order to promote conflict resolution. This article outlines a theoretical framework for analyzing this phenomenon, drawing on a wide range of case studies. It defines the phenomenon and analyzes the power resources and factors that help the ppe influence official processes. The article shows that although ppes lack official authority and legal status, they have alternative, unofficial resources that help them influence the diplomatic sphere, and some have even played critical roles in conflict resolution efforts. The analysis distinguishes among different means of influence-through official decision makers, public opinion, the rival side, or a third side. The article offers insights about the individual private citizen as an actor in peace diplomacy and describes important historical figures who were excluded from history textbooks.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)381-408
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Negotiation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • conflict resolution
  • mediation
  • negotiation
  • private peace entrepreneurs (ppes)
  • unofficial diplomacy


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