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“Possibility of Popular Justice: A Case Study of Community Mediation in the United States.”

Merry, S E
June 4, 2015

Source: Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Contributors to the volume explore the history and experience of the San Francisco program and compare it to other versions of popular justice in the United States, Europe, and the Third World. They discuss the multiple and contested meanings of such key terms as community, justice, and empowerment in the context of community mediation and other forms of popular justice. Characteristics of popular justice are defined, the viability of alternative dispute resolution is assessed, and community-based justice programs are described. Specific components of mediation in the San Francisco Community Boards program are identified, with special attention paid to organizing for community mediation and the ideology and developmental history of San Francisco’s program. The case study serves as a springboard for wider theoretical discussions about links among popular justice, community ordering, and State law and about the possibility of popular justice in the context of State law.


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