Identifying the Role of Social Norms in Mediation: A Multiple Model Approach

Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 48 No. 4, 1997

Posted: 9 Dec 1998


Mediation's explosive growth has resulted in the evolution of multiple styles and methodologies. In this article, Professor Waldman classifies existing mediation styles according to the role social norms play in the process. Professor Waldman argues that three separate mediation models exist: norm-generating, norm-educating and norm-advocation. These interventions are similar in that they all employ mediative techniques. However, they differ in their relationship to existing social and legal norms. In norm-generating mediation, which coresponds to traditional notions of facilitative mediation, the mediator invites the parties to generate the norms which will guide resolution of their dispute.

In norm-educating mediation, the mediator educates the parties regarding relevant legal and social norms, but allows the parties to determine the degree to which those norms shape and influence the resulting negotiated agreement. In norm-advocating mediation, the mediator not only eduates the parties regarding relevant social and legal norms, but advocates for their inclusion in the resulting agrement.

After providing a description of each mediation model and the dispute areas in which each figures most prominently, Professor Waldman provides a description of the types of conflicts in which each model might be most profitably employed.

Suggested Citation

Waldman, Ellen, Identifying the Role of Social Norms in Mediation: A Multiple Model Approach. Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 48 No. 4, 1997. Available at SSRN:

Ellen Waldman (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4346 (Phone)

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