There is considerable case-specific and anecdotal evidence of the impact of international organisations in conflict regulation, but conceptual frameworks and systematic comparative research are lacking. We begin by categorizing different strategies of regional and international conflict regulation and then offer one possible macro-framework to account for its success or failure. This framework combines a focus on factors internal to the relevant organization (i.e. its capabilities to act, fund and coordinate and cooperate) with an analysis of the conflict context (at the local, state, regional and global level). We find six factors to be particularly important: availability of resources and willingness to deploy them to strategic effect, commonality of interest among member states or a lead nation/s, long-term and continuously sustained conflict regulation efforts rather than ad hoc/on and off crisis management, effective external cooperation with major partners, a permissive conflict context and local interest in ending rather than continuing the conflict.