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Does Mediation Make Us Better?

The prevailing measures of the success of mediation have largely focused on rates of settlement and satisfaction while overlooking the capacity-building goals expressed by many mediation advocates. I address this through empirical study of the effects of mediation on participant capacity at two community mediation organizations in Toronto. I find that mediation has the potential to build participant capacity, but in the majority of cases, it does not have these lasting effects on participants. Based on these findings I conclude that mediation advocates should scale back and reconceptualize, though not entirely abandon, their claims about the capacity-building potential of mediation.

Full article available here.


Heather Pincock

Dr. Heather Pincock is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Management at KSU. Her research is broadly concerned with theories of democracy and citizenship, and her work examines how both citizens and the state seek to manage everyday conflicts in ways that conform to, reinforce, and challenge democratic values of autonomy,… MORE >

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