World Mediation Organization Academic Research Project - Ongoing


The professional team of WMO-Experts and invited specialists is currently working on the creation of an outstanding compendium regarding 'International Mediation'. Please subscribe here in order to receive the latest news as well as inquiries of taking part in surveys by contacting our Communication Centre - Research.  The publication of this international and interactive work is scheduled by October 2017 during the WMO Symposium in Berlin. It is intended to bring together diverse concepts of Mediation, based on different cultural and social backgrounds, and to encourage the reader to create a non biased individual point of view. This compendium will display a wide range of expertise and unique insights regarding professional day-to-day challenges. Several authors will introduce their work, thoughts and points of view. It will be an outstanding possibility for future readers and interested scholars to initiate a personal talk and to get direct feedback on individual questions. It will be available as a hardcover and download edition.

Procedure: Below, you will find abstracts of all authors who apply for participation. You are free to vote for all articles that you want to be part of this book by placing a corresponding note in our blog, to be found below the abstracts. Votation is open from February 1st to March 31st, 2017.

Abstracts:

Miss Charalee Graydon (France): My paper will focus on forums for management and resolution of conflicts arising from what many consider to be the major challenge facing humankind and the role mediation can play in this matter. Forums to deal with these type of disputes will become an important source of employment for mediation specialists  in the years and decades to come. Courses in transition studies, environmental ethics, environmental justice and peacekeeping are now and will continue to be developed at educational institutions around the world. The article will set out ideas for promotion of mediation as a forum for handling these conflicts and emphasise ways to incorporate methods of mediation in dealing with an important issue that will be a part of our future ...

Dr. Mario Appiano (Italy): Mediation is a “systemic way” for the settlement of disputes, as opposed to the armed conflict  or those in the courtroom, which are the “linear solutions” (i.e., based on the “cause and effect “ principle) to the respective types of conflicts .This seems obvious enough for the first case. When people hate another one - or, rather, they are induced to hate it - there is an enemy. The presence and the fear of an enemy is a dangerous situation (“cause”) , that triggers a reaction.  If one  uses the violence to deal such a situation (resolution methodology), the only possible solution is to eliminate the enemy physically (“effect”): this inevitably leads to death and destruction, whenever one sees a person who is qualified as an enemy. In this context, people are not free, as they have no choice about how to behave. Recourse to war does not even assess whether there is indeed an enemy to be feared and if the interaction with this subject can lead to completely different results ...

Dr. Emmy Irobi (Poland): In a mediation session Kowalski was given the opportunity to sit down with his land lady pani (Mrs.) Beata to discuss about his overdue house rent payment. The landlady could not understand why her tenant a civil servant was not paying regularly his rents. She had made some visits and phone calls but to no avail instead emotions  grew higher, normal communication also impaired  leading to  lack of understanding. As a result she wanted to evict Kowalski from the property by force, And when her efforts  failed she rushed to the court for help. Qualified as a small claim case, the issue was referred to a local mediation center outside Warsaw ...

Miss Thalía Veintimilla (USA): Mediation can start at the personal surroundings. The most immediate place would be a home where there is a relationship between siblings and parents. Another immediate home can also be an orphanage where teachers become the parental relationship of the children. At home, the most immediate form of mediation can start to flourish because it is there where relations have the most continuous actions. From here, at home, or the place that can be called home by growing up in such locations, is where the characters of people will shape into what can or will become a mediator …

Francis Belle (St. Lucia): William Lucy (2002), refers to what he calls ‘the sceptical challenge’ and concludes that the question the challenge places on the jurisprudential agenda is this: are law and adjudication pre-eminently desirable means of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules, and resolving disputes about those rules, from among the class of non-arbitrary ways of so subjecting human conduct and resolving disputes? Whether or not that designation legal sceptic aptly describes the writer is a matter for those who are reading this article rather than the writer. Nevertheless let there be no doubt that the legal system’s utilisation of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution also indicates acceptance of the advantages available in these non-legal forms of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules. In my view these non-legal forms are both in conflict with and complementary to the legal/adversarial approach to justice …

Miss Antonia Yeung, Dr. Fred Lee (Hong Kong): While the notion of mediation and the act of mediating may be expressed in a number of ways in different cultures, the Chinese term for it, 調解 (tiao jie), consists of two distinctly telling characters, namely, and in specific order, “tuning (in)” and “untying”, in other words, understand (coupled with adjusting) in order to produce a solution. Unlike “negotiation” (談判) which translates literally into “conversing” then “judging”, mediation in this light implies deeper personal engagement at the cognitive level of the participants in a process aimed towards unraveling the issues in dispute in order to achieve resolution. It is therefore not a coincidence that before the adoption of mediation as a mainstream concept and practice for alternative dispute resolution in Hong Kong, the facilitator for what we would now call the dispute resolution process i.e. the mediator, has long been referred to in Chinese as the “peace-maker” (和事佬). Where do “peace-makers” come from and what are their roles in a dispute? Christopher Moore, in his book The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict, outlined three common sources of conflict management figures. They are, “social network mediators”, “authoritative mediators” and “independent mediators”. Their typical status and role are represented below …

Miss Sarah Blake (Australia): This paper explores cross-cultural mediation in Australia but, more specifically, explores the of role legitimacy in decision-making. As a cross-cultural mediator, I am acutely aware of the challenges of creating meaningful mediation processes that empower people to resolve their own conflicts. While the notion of legitimacy may be an assumed normative value, I believe it is a foundational principle that enables parties to make decisions and ultimately results in agreements that have authority, meaning and strength. However, an understanding of the concept of legitimacy, and the role it plays in producing durable and responsive outcomes, is unfortunately not something that can always be taken for granted. Indeed the failure to consider the role of legitimacy at point zero, particularly within the cross-cultural context, is likely to result in subjugation and disempowerment of those outside of the dominant system.  Indeed, as I sat trying to write this paper, I was provided with a stark illustration of this very challenge: I received a phone call with a request to submit my name to facilitate a negotiation about resolving a cross-cultural conflict. I was initially excited, it is always nice to receive such a call, but as the discussions continued I became wary. Why, I asked myself as I reflected? The answer was facing me on the computer screen; I was alert to and aware that issues of legitimacy of process were not part of the conversation. I was in the middle of living and doing that which I was attempting to write about. Needless to say, it reaffirmed the importance of negotiating legitimacy for cross-cultural mediations in Australia.   



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