Archive for Mediation

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How Voluntary is Public Policy Consensus Building?

How Voluntary is Public Policy Consensus Building?

Image Credit: Ewe Degiampietro – Fotolia.com Voluntary participation is an essential dimension of mediation, consensus-building and the many other forms of collaborative public policy – at least in theory. But even with so basic a part of the concept of collaboration as its voluntary nature, the realities of practice can depart sharply from the ideal. […]

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Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Anyone who’s worked at building consensus on public policy knows the frustration of trying to reason with someone who just won’t change a position or even consider alternative possibilities. They may refuse to accept any evidence that seems to disprove their positions and become aggressive and disruptive in the face of challenges. Sometimes, it’s possible […]

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Mediating on Two Tracks: the Rational and the Rest of Human Nature

Mediating on Two Tracks: the Rational and the Rest of Human Nature

Robert Benjamin’s essay on the place of irrationality in mediation, discussed in the previous post, urges mediators to focus as much on the emotional and even illogical motives contributing to conflict as on the rational analysis of issues. Many practitioners do this, in so far as they can, because they not only recognize the importance […]

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Bernard Mayer: <em>Staying with Conflict</em>

Bernard Mayer: Staying with Conflict

Some Rights Reserved by Nicholas_T In his latest book, Bernard Mayer has challenged our thinking about mediation by singling out a dimension of conflict that receives too little attention. Simply put: conflict endures, and Mayer argues that the response to it should go far beyond the immediate resolution of disputes. Staying with Conflict is a […]

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Mediator Power & Collaborative Public Policy

Mediator Power & Collaborative Public Policy

What is mediator power and how does it operate in collaborative governance and public policy? I pose this question after reading the current issue of Conflict Resolution Quarterly (Vol. 26, No. 4). This collection of scholarly articles challenges basic concepts of mediation and calls for a searching reconsideration of its definition and practice. The contributions […]

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12 Online Resources on Collaboration & Public Policy

12 Online Resources on Collaboration & Public Policy

This is the first installment of a periodic series of posts highlighting sources of information and insight about collaborative public policy and its many related fields. Cross Collaborate looks at collaborative public policy as an emerging field that draws on numerous sources, including change management, negotiation, collaborative networks, deliberative democracy, mediation, consensus building and other […]

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