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Book Chapter

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The Complex Dispute Resolution series collects essays on the development of foundational dispute resolution theory and practice and its application to increasingly more complex settings of conflicts in the world, including multi-party and multi-issue decision making, negotiations in political policy formation and governance, and international conflict resolution. Each volume contains an original introduction by the editor, which explores the key issues in the field. All three volumes feature essays which span an interdisciplinary range of fields, law, political science, game theory, decision science, economics, social and cognitive psychology, sociology and anthropology and consider issues in the uses of informal and private processes, as well as more formal and public processes. The essays question whether the development of universal theoretical insights about conflict resolution is possible with variable numbers of parties and issues and in multi-cultural and multi-jural settings. Each volume also presents a coda, summarizing key issues in the field and suggesting further avenues for research.

The third volume (and the introductory essay here) applies foundational dispute resolution theories and practices to a wide variety of transnational, international and transcultural dispute settings. The essays explore the uses of formal diplomacy, political negotiation processes, formal international adjudication in a variety of tribunals, public and private arbitration, mediation processes, and a new set of hybrid processes. The introductory essay and chapters here also describe and interrogate new forms of international conflict handling, if not “resolution,” in modern forms of transitional and restorative justice, truth and reconciliation commissions, as well as hybrid tribunals. Some of the essays critique the tensions between the need for formal prosecution, punishment and adjudication of grievous wrongs, as in genocides and human rights violations and the needs and desires of societies and individuals to “move on” or create ways of re-integrating or restoring peace, as well as justice, in post-conflict situations. The question of whether “alternative” forms of justice and process are consistent with efforts to create international “rule of law” regimes is also queried. The Coda and other essays also explore whether there are necessarily cultural variations in conflict resolution, restorative and retributive or punitive justice. As with volumes I and II in this series, some of the classic works in the field of international dispute resolution are presented, while the idea of whether there are “universal” theories and practices of dispute resolution, across cultures and contexts is examined by the series editor and a number of authors.

Publication Citation

Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Introduction & Coda: International Dispute Resolution, in COMPLEX DISPUTE RESOLUTION: VOLUME III: (Carrie Menkel-Meadow, ed., Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate 2012)