By Bernard Mayer

During this thought-provoking, passionately written publication, Bernard Mayer—an the world over acclaimed chief within the field—dares practitioners to invite the tough questions about replacement dispute answer. What’s improper with clash solution? Why aren’t extra participants and corporations utilizing clash solution after they have an issue? Why doesn’t the general public comprehend extra approximately it? What are the boundaries of clash answer? while does clash answer paintings and whilst does it not?  supplying a devoted practitioner’s critique of the occupation of mediation, arbitration, and replacement dispute answer, past Neutrality specializes in the present concern within the box of clash answer and gives a practical reaction.

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The temptation is to define that difference in terms of the neutral role, but that is a limiting self-concept. As important as the neutral can be, it is only one role, and often a very limiting one in conflict. Instead, our field should seek to define itself more by its understanding of conflict and its ability to translate that understanding into practical ways of intervening in conflict— or helping other individuals or groups to intervene—from a number of different roles or stances. What Role Do Practitioners Play in Major Conflicts?

This is true whether we are talking about a medical malpractice suit, a divorce, a grievance, an environmental struggle, or the conflict in Northern Ireland. Thus, the very desire or need for vindication is negated in most conflict resolution processes. The problem is that 26 BEYOND NEUTRALITY vindication may in fact represent people’s deepest needs. Legal, political, or public confrontation approaches, although they may make it more costly and difficult to meet other needs in a creative and effective manner, do not reject the need for vindication as a premise to participation in the process itself.

A major purpose of this book is to offer an analysis of and prescription for how to be more useful and accepted as resources in conflict. Five factors seem paramount in why we are not more involved in resolving major public conflicts: • Disputants do not necessarily want resolution. People want to win, to build a movement, to carry on an important struggle, to achieve meaning, to address basic issues, to gain political advantage, or other similar goals. Resolution implies too shallow an outcome or goal to many.

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