Mediation Theory and Practice
This article applies lessons learned from the Zũni people of the southwestern United States about successful and sustainable intervention as a metaphor to address common tensions among alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scholars and practitioners. These tensions are found in professionalisation, institutionalisation and identification of best practices. Through example of Zũni efforts to repatriate sacred artefacts known as Ahuy: da, I argue that ADR is an intervention that works best through direct and ongoing dialogue rather than rigid adherence to a set of standards. The problem lies in how such adherence can limit and distort rather than inform or support best practices in research as well as mediation practice. I propose qualitative, ethnographic field research as a way to address this problem, and provide an example from ongoing study of a US family court mediation programme.
Crampton, Alexandra, "Learning from Zũni War Gods Repatriating Alternative Dispute Resolution for Practice and Research" (2017). Social and Cultural Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 231.
ADA Accessible Version