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Mediation Interventions and Restorative Justice: Responding to the A structural Bias

Mika, Harry
June 4, 2015

Source: (1992) In: H. Messmer and H.-U. Otto (eds.), Restorative Justice on Trial: Pitfalls and Potentials of Victim-Offender Mediation: International Research Perspectives. Dordrecht, NETH: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 559-568.

The sweeping theoretical critiques of informal justice initiatives and the parochial research on the interpersonal dynamic of the mediation process have contributed little to improving the practice of conflict resolution. Current practice reveals a decidedly astructural bias, lacking in deliberate efforts to respond to the broad social factors that give rise to conflict in communities and impede or shape its resolution. Drawing from research on neighborhood conflict, victim-offender reconciliation programs, and community dispute resolution organizations, some middle-range strategies for reconciliation programs are proposed. Selected attributes of environment, organization, and function appear more sensitive and responsive to the structural dimensions of local conflict.


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