Laurie Nathan

Professor of the Practice of Mediation; Mediation Program Director

Laurie  Nathan

100 Hesburgh Center for International Studies
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (215) 500-2616

Areas of Expertise: mediation, conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy, United Nations peacemaking, African regional security

Laurie Nathan is director of the Kroc Institute’s mediation program, which serves as an international center of excellence for mediation research, training, policy and practice.


Nathan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town.


He has been a Senior Mediation Advisor to the United Nations, served on the UN Academic Advisory Council on Mediation in 2012-18 and since 2013 has been the lead designer and trainer of the UN High Level Mediation Course. He has participated in high-level peacemaking efforts in Africa and helped design the mediation units of the African Union and African sub-regional bodies. He has been a consultant on mediation and related issues to the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the United Nations, as well as with the governments of Germany, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


He has served on the Carter Centre’s International Council for Conflict Resolution and the Board of Directors of Conciliation Resources. He has also been a member of the international advisory boards of the Centre for Resolution of International Conflict, University of Copenhagen; the Masters in Security Sector Management, Cranfield University; the Africa Peace Fellows Initiative of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution, California State University, Sacramento; and the Oxford Research Group.


Prior to joining the Kroc Institute, Nathan was professor and director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town.


He is the author of four books, including Community of Insecurity: SADC’s Struggle for Peace and Security in Southern Africa and No Ownership, No Commitment: A Guide to Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform. He is also co-editor of two books and author of over 50 articles and chapters.

Recent Work

L. Nathan and A. Sethi, ‘Reducing and Managing Risk: The Dimensions of Strong Ceasefires in Intra-State Conflict’, International Studies Review, 2023, 25(1)

L. Nathan and J. Devonshire, ‘Don’t We Have a Right to Get Angry? Integrating Emotions into International Mediation Studies,’ International Journal of Conflict Management, 2023, DOI10.1108/IJCMA-08-2022-0135

L. Nathan, ‘The Customer is Always Right: The Policy Research Arena in International Mediation’, International Affairs, forthcoming 2023

L. Nathan, ‘The Impossible Mandate: Exclusionary UN Mandates on Libya and Syria’, in I. Svensson and I. Fraihat (eds.), Conflict Mediation in the Arab World, Syracuse University Press, 2023

L. Nathan and A. Duursma, ‘Darfur: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy for Ceasefires’, in G. Clayton (ed.), Ceasefires in Intrastate Peace Processes, Georgetown University Press, forthcoming 2023

L. Nathan, ‘Whither the Villains? The Ethical Dilemma in Armed Conflict’, 2022, in D. Irvin-Erickson, A. Choi-Fitzpatrick and E. Verdeja (eds.), The Ethics of Action: Peace, Rights, and Justice, Oxford University Press

L. Nathan, ‘African Mediation in High Intensity Conflict: How African?’, 2022, in B. Charbonneau (ed), Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding, Routledge

L. Nathan, ‘The Post-Conflict Constitution as a Peace Agreement’, 2022, in R. Mac Ginty and A. Wanis-St. John (eds), Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction, 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillan

G. Clayton, L. Nathan and C. Wiehler ‘Ceasefire Success: A Conceptual Framework’, International Peacekeeping, 2021, 28(3): 341-365

L. Nathan, ‘The Real Deal? The Post-Conflict Constitution as a Peace Agreement’, Third World Quarterly, 2020, 41(9): 1556-1574

L. Nathan, ‘The International Peacemaking Dilemma: Ousting or Including the Villains?’, Swiss Political Science Review, 2020, 26(4): 468–486L. Nathan, Mandating Peace: Enhancing the Mediation Sensitivity and Effectiveness of the UN Security Council, Discussion Paper, 2020, Federal Foreign Office, Republic of Germany, Berlin

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Curriculum Vitae