University of California Irvine, School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center
September 5, 2012
Foundations of Dispute Resolution: Vol. I of Complex Dispute Resolution, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, ed., Ashgate Publishing Company, 2012
UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-67
The Complex Dispute Resolution series collects essays on the development of foundational dispute resolution theory and practice and its application to increasingly more complex settings of conflicts in the world, including multi-party and multi-issue decision making, negotiations in political policy formation and governance, and international conflict resolution. Each volume contains an original introduction by the editor, which explores the key issues in the field. All three volumes feature essays which span an interdisciplinary range of fields, law, political science, game theory, decision science, economics, social and cognitive psychology, sociology and anthropology and consider issues in the uses of informal and private processes, as well as more formal and public processes. The essays question whether the development of universal theoretical insights about conflict resolution is possible with variable numbers of parties and issues and in multi-cultural and multi-jural settings. Each volume also presents a coda, summarizing key issues in the field and suggesting further avenues for research.
The first volume (and the introductory essay here) reviews the history, theoretical foundations and practices of the primary processes in process pluralism – negotiation, mediation, arbitration and some hybrid processes in both public and private, informal and formal settings. Illustrations of uses of these processes in different substantive areas, e.g. legal disputes, family law, transactional matters, environmental matters, institutional relations, consumer, employment and legal and court reform are provided. The volume collects classic articles in foundational theory and practice while interrogating the issues of how the numbers of parties and issues, different contexts and cultures challenges our efforts to create generalizable theory and practice of human conflict resolution.