The mediation of disputes by community leaders in China has deep historical roots and has long been among the responsibilities of neighbourhoods and villages. While most research on the topic has looked at cities, mediation is in fact more common in the countryside. This paper draws on a survey conducted in 2002 (n=2,164) and repeated in 2010 (n=2,659), covering 23 villages in five provinces, which provides detailed data on conflict from disputants themselves. We examine the evolution of this much-debated mode of conflict resolution and assess its prevalence and effectiveness relative to alternatives. We find that, even as overall rates of disputing declined, seeking intervention by village authorities remained as common a response to disputes in 2010 as it was eight years prior. The paper thus sheds light on a primary means through which the party-state has tried to maintain stability, tamp down strife, and assert its primacy at the community level.