Essay Sample on Definition of the Term Leverage

Published: 2022-11-29
Essay Sample on Definition of the Term Leverage
Essay type:  Definition essays
Categories:  Communication skills
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1216 words
11 min read

According to (Zartman, 2015, 30), leverage is the skill of influencing peace processes in disputes and reconcile those who are disputing. Leverage is also a form of dispute resolution, and according to that, it is defined as an action that is focused on solving an ongoing dispute and mainly relies on persuading as a means of addressing the plights of the two warring factions (Lavenex, 2011, 900). Leverage is also defined as the attribute within the negotiators that aids them to begin a conflict resolution process, the primary motive being to bring an agreement between the warring factions. Leverage is also defined as the attribute of a negotiator which is a "function" of the form, knowledge and qualities of the negotiator, which can be used to solve conflicts between two warring factions. Mediators frequently influence a negotiation process and change the factors which might hinder the resolution of disputes.

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Types of Leverages

There are two main types of leverages: "Capability and Credibility." Credibility leverage talks about as the role played by negotiators in terms of the knowledge and information they relay to ensure a conflict is resolved (Caldwell, 2009). Negotiators with "credibility power" will not dependent on "material coercion" (Caldwell, 2009), as they form the direction of a negotiation process with a view of creating more durable peaceful consequences. Capability leverage is the scope by which negotiators use "material power" (Zartman, 2015, 30), to force a settlement of disputes between warring factions.

Credibility Leverage

Credibility uses "contextual" understanding, information and the relationship of those who are disputing to exert their influence. It also helps in shaping the conflict resolution process. Credibility leverage is a role of two ideas: (Zartman, 2015, 30), "historical interactions and ethnic interactions' within warring factions (Zartman, 2015, 30). These two concepts give negotiators with both "factual and interpersonal power" that bestows in them the ability to steer dialogues and change what makes the two warring factions to fight. Historical ties, for instance "previous" negotiation efforts reveals the interests of a negotiator in a nation and familiarity of conflict. Such connections fortify the available information, hence enhance the magnitude to which negotiators will positively steer the peace resolution process (Reid, 2017, 1420). When a negotiator has the background knowledge of how to solve disputes between two nations will help enhance the process of solving the disputable issues. Historical connections also disclose that negotiators made a "credible commitment" towards resolving disputes between the two nations. Based on previous behaviors, the conflicting parties have great self-assurance that a negotiator might be engrossed on reconciliation struggles in the future (Reid, 2017, 1420). Opposing parties have a conviction that previous old connections are most likely to employ sustained effect plus avail the required information that will guide the overall peace process.

Ethnic bonds make the negotiation process more successful since those conflicting believe that the negotiator is disclosing correct and is genuinely dedicated to arriving at a consensus which will help end the conflict. "Credibility leverage "impacts the "contents of negotiations," the apparent assurance of the negotiator to the process of resolving peace and effectiveness of the message relayed throughout the negotiations. Hence it helps give a sense of direction on the dialogues.

"Capability Leverage"

Incapability leverage the negotiator uses "material strength" to define the reconciliation processes and also aids in the negotiator's overall effect through empowering him to steer negotiations and alter the mindsets of the deliberating parties. Negotiators who have capability power are often dependent on controlling styles to steer up negotiations and like to solve the conflicts through the hard way (Zartman, 2015, 30). Capability leverage involves forcing others to do what you are asking them. Forcing parties to do what you are asking them is a quick method but does not guarantee a "long-term conflict resolution means." Capability power is mostly enforced by those who have financial strength and use that influence in solving conflicts. Capability leverage changes the overheads of the mediators and those who will be involved in the peace process.

Influence of power in dispute resolution is referred to as a process channeled towards determining a continuous clash. It mainly relies on coaxing to arrive at a solution acceptable by the parties within a dispute. Leverage represents any means available to a peacekeeper in determining the fate of conflict and remove any belligerents so that there may be a definitive agreement. Moreover, power is also distinctive of a negotiation process which is a purpose of instilling knowledge, characteristics of the intermediary, even the battle's actors and qualities. The power can be substantial and irrelevant - the availability of funds that will help them to make proper conflict resolution.

The role played by Leverage in the process of mediation

Leverage plays a very crucial role in the mediation of conflicts between two warring factions. It uses persuasion when solving disputes. However, negotiation has been through a lot of criticism, one of the being dispute management. The other criticism is that contradiction, a problem which increases the likelihood of conflict occurring once again.

Leverage is usually presumed to be derived from the power of "material and resources," and negotiators with the influence of power are more likely to be successful in conflict resolution. However, the negotiators without control of power have a difficult time while trying to reach on a consensus. The advantages of the influence of power cannot depend only on whether the negotiator has "material or resources" to influence the process of conflict resolution. The supposition is that leverage refers to the ability of a negotiator to pressurize the disputing parties within a state. Leverage is also a multifaceted idea and contributes to the arguments and motivations of the warring factions. Leverage is obtained from conflicting parties and also depends on the conflicting parties' vulnerability to the fluctuating pressure that a negotiator can apply in trying to resolve a conflict. Finally, leverage crops up from the interests of conflicting parties in the payments that the negotiator can contribute towards solving disputes.

When does "weak mediation occur "and how does leverage play a role?

A case of weak mediation can occur if the mediator has less leverage when steering a conflict resolution process. The mediator will not adequately solve the dispute, and the chances of reoccurrence of a dispute will be high (Beardsley, 2009, 280). However leverage plays a role in strengthening the influence of a mediator; for example, Kofi Annan negotiated a "power-sharing" pact in trying to solve the violence and clashes that had escalated in Kenya. Since he was a "private citizen" he did not have the authority to aid or impose consents against uncompromising parties, neither did he have improved access to information on how to solve conflicts. But he was able to steer up the negotiations since he was the UN Secretary-General.


Reid, L., 2017. Finding a peace that lasts: mediator leverage and the durable resolution of civil wars. Journal of conflict resolution, 61(7), pp.1401-1431.

Beardsley, K., 2009. Intervention without leverage: Explaining the prevalence of weak mediators. International Interactions, 35(3), pp.272-297.

Lavenex, S. and Schimmelfennig, F., 2011. EU democracy promotion in the neighborhood: from leverage to governance?. Democratization, 18(4), pp.885-909.

Caldwell, I.V., William, B., Murphy, D.M. and Menning, A., 2009. Learning to leverage new media: The Israeli defense forces in recent conflicts. ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS.

Zartman, I.W. and Touval, S., 2015. International mediation: Conflict resolution and power politics. Journal of Social Issues, 41(2), pp.27-45.

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