3 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J. 39 (2002-2003)
Clarifying the Theoretical Underpinnings of Mediation: Implications for Practice and Policy

handle is hein.journals/pepds3 and id is 47 raw text is: Clarifying the Theoretical
Underpinnings of Mediation:
Implications for Practice and Policy
Dorothy J. Della Noce,
Robert A. Baruch Bush,
and Joseph P. Folger*
INTRODUCTION: AN ATHEORETICAL FIELD?
Mediation, defined here as a social process in which a third party helps
people in conflict understand their situation and decide for themselves what,
if anything, to do about it, has a long history and roots in many cultures.'
Mediation began to develop as a distinct social institution in the U.S. during
* DOROTHY J. DELLA NOCE, J.D., Ph.D., is a Fellow and a founding Board member of the
Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, in affiliation with Hofstra University Law
School. She has been active in the mediation field for more than a decade, providing mediation
services and education, serving in leadership roles in various state and national organizations,
conducting research, consulting on policy and program design projects, and participating in nu-
merous grant-funded initiatives to enrich theory and practice.
R.A. BARUCH BUSH, J.D., is the Rains Distinguished Professor of ADR Law, Hofstra Univer-
sity School of Law; as well as a Fellow and a founding Board member of the Institute for the
Study of Conflict Transformation.
JOSEPH P. FOLGER, Ph.D., is a Professor of Communication at Temple University, Philadel-
phia PA. He conducts research and teaches in the areas of conflict management, mediation, group
process and decision-making. Folger has worked extensively as a third party intervener and medi-
ator in a wide array of conflict settings. He is a co-founder of the Institute for the Study of Con-
flict Transformation at the Hofstra University Law School. He is co-author of the award winning
books The Promise of Mediation (with R.A.B. Bush) and Working Through Conflict: Strategies
for Relationships, Groups and Organizations (with M. S. Poole and R.K. Stutman). He has also
published numerous research articles in journals such as the Harvard Negotiation Journal, Media-
tion Quarterly, Human Communication Research, 'and Hofstra Labor and Employment Law
Journal.
1. For various perspectives on the history of mediation, see Sarah R. Cole, et al., MEDIA-
TION LAW, POLICY & PRACTICE §§ 5:1-5:4 (2d ed. 2001); Jay Folberg & Alison Taylor, MEDIA-
TION 1-17 (1984); Kimberlee K. Kovach, MEDIATION PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE 18-21 (1994);
Robert A. Baruch Bush, Dispute Resolution - The Domestic Arena: A Survey of Methods, Appli-
cations and Critical Issues, in BEYOND CONFRONTATION: LEARNING CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN THE
POST-COLD WAR ERA, 9-37 (John A. Vasquez et al., eds., 1995); Dorothy J. Della Noce, Media-
tion Theory and. Policy: The Legacy of the Pound Conference, 17 OHIO ST. J. ON DISP. RES. 545
(2002); see generally, R. ABEL, THE POLITICS OF INFORMAL JUSTICE, (1982) (describing the history
and current trends in the informal justice arena).

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