This book provides a vivid reader on experiences of mediation throughout history and in many different regional, cultural and legal contexts. For experts in the field of mediation and legal anthropology it provides a series of fascinating case studies not previously reported on. For those not familiar with the field it provides a window on an alternative possibility for peacemaking in political conflicts. The book is held together by the editor's introduction, which defines political mediation, the research methodologies employed, the relationship of mediation to participatory democracy, and the growth of mediation in the past twenty years. The chapters which follow provide the anatomy of successful and unsuccessful mediations in contexts as widely diverse as the 30 Years War (1618-1648) which was ended following the intercession of the future Pope, Alexander VII. Three further chapters examine the role of the Catholic Church in other mediations - in the Basque conflict, in Burundi and in Chiapas, while a further group of chapters looks at conflicts in Ethiopia, Northern Ireland, Central America and Congo.