OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution

Issue 2.3 | August 1999

ISSN 1522-211X


Reviews in Brief:

Construction Disputes: Avoidance and Resolution, edited by Peter Campbell, is intended as an introduction to dispute resolution for professionals working in the construction industry. Although the book assumes that the reader has little or no experience with dispute resolution outside of litigation, it provides a good overview of the general and industry-specific opportunities that exist. In addition to covering mediation and arbitration, different chapters address dispute avoidance and dispute review boards. The book in general examines practices in Britain, using the United States for comparisons. Construction Disputes should be of use for anyone providing dispute resolution services to the construction industry and also for researchers and practitioners seeking real-world solutions to commercial disputes of any type. (Construction Disputes: Avoidance and Resolution. Peter Campbell, ed. 1997. Whittles Publishing, Caithness, Scotland, UK.)

Court-Annexed Mediation: Critical Perspectives on Selected State and Federal Programs, edited by Edward J. Bergman and John C. Bickerman, examines mediation programs within various US courts: the District of Columbia, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas. Although more documentary than its title would indicate, Court-Annexed Mediation provides analysis on the workings and impact of court-annexed mediation systems. The chapters each examine a specific system and some provide additional documentary materials relating to the creation or functioning of the programs. By providing a look at programs already in place, Court-Annexed Mediation is an excellent guide for those of us working within and working to create dispute resolution systems within the court system. (Court-Annexed Mediation: Critical Perspectives on Selected State and Federal Programs. Edward J. Bergman and John C. Bickerman, eds. 1998. Pike and Fisher, Bethesda, Maryland, US.)

Mediating and Negotiating Marital Conflicts, by Desmond Ellis and Noreen Stuckless, is not a how-to guide. It is instead a very complete and useful analysis of the comparative applicability and success of lawyer-based negotiation and mediation. Ellis and Stuckless use both theoretical arguments and data to explain the differences between an adversarial (traditional lawyer-based negotiation) and non-adversarial (lawyer or third-party mediation) approaches to divorce, child custody, and other marital conflicts. The analysis in Mediating and Negotiating Marital Conflicts is not simple - Ellis and Stuckless do not simply ask, "Is mediation or the traditional system better?" They consider the characteristics of clients that prefer one over the other along with the propensity for each to produce a resolution and client satisfaction to produce a multifaceted answer. This book will be of immense value for lawyers seeking information to advise their clients and for researchers seeking empirical data about family mediation. (Mediating and Negotiating Marital Conflicts. Desmond Ellis and Noreen Stuckless. 1996. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.)

All Her Paths Are Peace: Women Pioneers in Peacemaking, by Michael Henderson, is a look at the lives of thirteen women who have worked for peace around the world. These women, although from different backgrounds, use a similar approach to peacemaking. This approach was developed and encouraged through a variety of meetings and conferences in Caux, Switzerland. The stories in this book are primarily about forgiveness and its ability to transform intractable conflict and promote post-conflict peacebuilding. Henderson believes that there are natural roles women play in creating peace. It is interesting to read about the transformations made by many of the women as they moved from conflict to peace. All Her Paths Are Peace would be a welcome addition to an introductory class on peace studies and provides stories to which many students would be able to relate. (All Her Paths Are Peace: Women Pioneers in Peacemaking. Michael Henderson. 1994. Kumerian Press.)

OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is published by the Tabula Rasa Institute, www.trinstitute.org.