Gollum, Meet Smeagol: A Schizophrenic Rumination on Mediator Values Beyond Self Determination and Neutrality

Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 5, p. 65, 2004

22 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2011

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The author asserts that the exclusive reliance on the "Two Towers" of self-determination and neutrality as the foundation for mediation practice has inevitably left us with a process routinely characterized by mediator manipulation and deception. The "tricks" are tolerated by sophisticated repeat players, and absent transparency in practice, disturbingly not known to others. The evolution of mediation, from empowerment/community roots to corporate/court sustenance, is no surprise given the nation's journey through the Reagan revolution, the ideology of free markets, and the Supreme Court's unbridled support for freedom to contract in disputing. In short, mediation is at a crossroads needing to confront its mythology and find commitment to values beyond self-determination and neutrality.

Keywords: mediation, self-determination, neutrality, justice, empowerment

Suggested Citation

Coben, James Richard, Gollum, Meet Smeagol: A Schizophrenic Rumination on Mediator Values Beyond Self Determination and Neutrality (2004). Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 5, p. 65, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1923920

James Richard Coben (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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