Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution / Edition 1

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In this thought-provoking, passionately written book, Bernard S.Mayer–an internationally acclaimed leader in thefield–dares practitioners to ask the hard questions aboutalternative dispute resolution. What’s wrong with conflictresolution? Why aren’t more individuals and organizationsusing conflict resolution when they have a problem? Whydoesn’t the public know more about it? What are the limits ofconflict resolution? When does conflict resolution work and whendoes it not? Offering a committed practitioner’s critique ofthe profession of mediation, arbitration, and alternative disputeresolution, Beyond Neutrality focuses on the current crisis in thefield of conflict resolution and offers a pragmatic response.

Mayer urges practitioners to evolve from resolution toengagement and actual advocacy, going beyond neutrality in order toredefine conflict resolution at a level of participation moreappropriate to the current era. Mayer argues that to be moreeffective, conflict resolution professionals must become conflictengagement specialists and thereby become a more powerful force forchanging the way conflict is conducted. By building on the oldroles of mediators and facilitators, conflict resolutionprofessionals can dramatically expand what they offer to people inconflict.

Beyond Neutrality challenges mediators, arbitrators, therapists,attorneys, and counselors to take conflict resolution to the nextlevel of effectiveness, utility, and engagement.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“In this passionate and provocative book, Bernie Mayerchallenges the field of conflict resolution to reinvent itself soas to include advocacy and engagement at its core. Mayer practiceswhat he preaches by engaging us in a vital discussion sure to stirproductive controversy.”
—William Ury, co-author, Getting to Yes and author, TheThird Side

“Takes us into challenging and potentially transformingterritory by shedding light on how too narrow a commitment toneutrality or an exclusive focus on ‘resolving’disputes can limit our usefulness in the clashes of passion,positions, and power struggles inherent in how people actuallyconfront (and avoid) their deepest conflicts.”
—Gail Bingham, president, RESOLVE, Inc.

“As professional fields develop, people look back andidentify a few books that stand out because they markedturning points wherein the stroke of a pen incisively pushed boththeory and practice to a higher plane of understanding and purpose.Beyond Neutrality will mark such a place for the conflictresolution field in the first decade of this century.”
—John Paul Lederach, professor, the Kroc Institute and EasternMennonite University

“This book will inspire conversations that will shape ourfield for years to come.”
—David Hart, CEO, Association for Conflict Resolution

“Guaranteed to spark lively debate anddialogue.
—Nina Meierding, former president, Academy of Family Mediators

“The first major step toward the field’s‘second wave.’”
—Christopher Honeyman, director, Broad Field Project

"Berine Mayer's book is honest, forthright, nd filled with wiseand loving criticism for the field of conflict resolution heassignificantly helped to build."
—Jay Rothman, president, ARIA Group, and author, ResolvingIdentity-Based Conflict in Nations, Organizations andCommunities

“Mayer exposes some tough realities that focus on how wehave limited our identity, narrowly defined what we do, and whydisputants don’t always like what we have tooffer.”
—Brian Polkinghorn, associate professor, Conflict Analysis andDispute Resolution, and executive director, Center for ConflictResolution, Salisbury University

Beyond Neutrality is a foundational work forcreating a deepened, more robust field. The premises of this bookwill be debated, revised, and expanded, but they will set theagenda for our field for the next generation.”
—Carl Schneider, director, Mediation Matters, Bethesda,Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787968069
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/21/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,328,842
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard S. Mayer, Ph.D., is a partner at CDR Associates, in Boulder, Colorado. He has worked since the late 1970s in the conflict resolution field as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, researcher, program administrator, and dispute systems designer. He is the author of The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2000), as well as many other writings about conflict and conflict resolution.

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Table of Contents


Part One: The Crisis.

1. Conflict Resolution: A Field in Crisis.

2. The Resistance to Conflict Resolution.

3. The Use (and Misuse) of Mediation.

4. Ten Beliefs That Get in Our Way.

5. Conflict Resolution and Society.

Part Two: From Resolution to Engagement.

6. The Power of Engagement.

7. The Conflict Specialist.

8. Embracing Advocacy.

9. Redefining Conflict Resolution.


About the Author.


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