This study investigated the mediations of 125 community mediators in the People's Republic of China. The mediators' reports on two mediations each—one in a community…
This study investigated the mediations of 125 community mediators in the People's Republic of China. The mediators' reports on two mediations each—one in a community (inter‐family) and one in a family (intra‐family) dispute—indicated the frequency with which they used 33 mediation techniques. In family (versus community) mediations, Chinese mediators were found to rely more heavily upon the techniques of separating the parties, getting assistance from third parties, calling for empathy, stating the other side's point of view, and utilizing logic. As for the strategies (combinations of techniques) employed, we found three distinct ones—separate, analyze together, criticize—in the family mediations. Two sets—reason together and criticize—were detected in the community mediations.
According to its advocates, community mediation empowers disputants in their dealing with conflict. However, critics of the community mediation movement have often…
According to its advocates, community mediation empowers disputants in their dealing with conflict. However, critics of the community mediation movement have often contended that far from being empowering, community mediation programs constitute a means of social control and of informal state power enhancement. This paper undertakes a socio-theoretical examination of community mediation's empowerment claims and of its criticisms. The paradigmatic and contrasting works of Habermas on communicative action and of Foucault on power, freedom and governmentality are applied to community mediation. The paper contends that although Habermas’ insights are supportive of the community mediation agenda, the criticisms they engender might provide a way to move beyond optimistically naive assumptions regarding empowering claims. Conversely, although Foucault's work has often been used to dismiss community mediation's empowerment promises, the paper argues that it is possible to re-examine the empowering potential of community mediation from a Foucauldian perspective. It concludes that community mediation can provide a space for personal empowerment, if understood in a nuanced way.
This study examines the impact of mediator style, mediation outcome, and mediator background variables on community mediation participant satisfaction and fairness…
This study examines the impact of mediator style, mediation outcome, and mediator background variables on community mediation participant satisfaction and fairness perceptions along several dimensions. Our data were collected from a community mediation program located in a justice court in the Southwestern United States. During a twelve‐month period, 40 mediation sessions, each involving a single mediator, were videotaped. The 108 mediation participants completed surveys assessing their perceptions of and satisfaction with their specific mediation experiences. The findings indicate important impacts of mediator facilitativeness on all perceptions and of conflict resolution success on satisfaction. Mediator experience impacted perceptions of the mediator; mediator gender and law background had no impacts.
Among the recurrent concerns of urban planners and administrators is the institutionalization of an inclusive, equitable, and effective process of citizen participation…
Among the recurrent concerns of urban planners and administrators is the institutionalization of an inclusive, equitable, and effective process of citizen participation. Such is required not only as matter of law but also as instrument of social cohesion. The great majority of urban conduct is a function of voluntarism, consensus, and accommodation. In earlier decades, informal social processes facilitated reconciliation. In more recent decades, formal processes of citizen participation have yielded frustration. For the present decade, both literature and practice suggest a shifting of citizen participation processes toward mediation alternatives. While increasingly popular, all mediation alternatives carry three troublesome concerns: definition of interested parties, openness to information, and role of the public mediator. Unless such alternatives are seen as more inclusive, equitable and effective, they will fail to win social acceptance, leading to increasing community distrust and frustrating the ability to effectively plan and govern urban communities.
This paper aims to present and discuss the findings from a qualitative study of victim-offender mediation meetings in two non-government organisations in Hong Kong between…
This paper aims to present and discuss the findings from a qualitative study of victim-offender mediation meetings in two non-government organisations in Hong Kong between January 2015 and February 2016. It argues that mediators in Hong Kong have a unique interpretation of the criteria for someone to be considered a “macro-community member”. Confucian relational ethics emphasises that everyone lives in a personal nexus and wrongdoings will disturb this nexus. In this specific context, therefore, mediators feel that reconciliation and reparation should be dealt with by the people in the offender’s network while the involvement of unknown macro-community members is discouraged.
The semi-structured interview was adopted for use in this study, and an interview schedule with 12 open-ended questions was prepared as a guideline for conducting the interviews.
Mediators in Hong Kong have a unique interpretation of the criteria for someone to be considered a “macro-community member” Confucian relational ethics emphasises that everyone lives in a personal nexus and wrongdoings will disturb this nexus. Reconciliation and reparation should be dealt with by the people in the network, and the involvement of macro-community members will certainly disturb this network.
This study was conducted by the author between January 2015 and February 2016 for the purpose of obtaining a doctorate. The paper has neither been published previously nor is it under review for publication in any other journal at this time.
Although ethnicity and gender play a significant role in many types of social interaction, little research exists on their importance in mediation. An analysis of community…
Although ethnicity and gender play a significant role in many types of social interaction, little research exists on their importance in mediation. An analysis of community mediation cases (N = 27,852) from New York state demonstrated that, consistent with predictions from criminal justice research, Whites were underrepresented in mediation relative to Blacks and Hispanics, and that females were more likely to participate in mediation as claimants than men. Both ethnicity and gender were related to the type of dispute, degree of violence, intimacy between disputants, source of referral, and mediation outcome. Additional analysis, taking into account source of referral, education, and income level of the claimant, did not fully account for the observed ethnic or gender differences. Results are discussed in terms of reasons why ethnic and gender differences exist in mediation, limitations of demographic data, and areas for future research.
The primary goal of the Restorative Justice process is not punishment but making good the harm done by offending for the victim, the community and the offender. Offenders have to take responsibility for their actions as a precondition to addressing the harm that they have caused. Offenders become aware that a crime is committed, not against an abstraction, but against someone real, a person like themselves and against their community, who are directly and indirectly affected by what has happened. Crime and conflict affect relationships between individuals who are left outside the court system altogether by conventional justice. Proceedings and arguments of the restorative process are voluntary for all parties. People are given the opportunity to partake in mediation, or to accept reparation. The process is always confidential however; outcomes and agreements can be made public, depending on the authorisation by participants.
The chapter will examine the emergence and influence of the restorative justice movement as a bridge between communities, civil society and the state in Ireland. The chapter will focus on the Republic of Ireland, but will also examine restorative conferencing in Northern Ireland. This will be divided into a number of sections, each reflecting the emergence of a movement dedicated to the promotion of restorative justice as a vehicle for a holistic form of community-based justice in Ireland. This chapter covers the history, scope, and philosophical-political background of the restorative justice movement, providing specific examples of the interchange between this restorative justice movement and civil society in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States. The wider potential of the restorative justice movement will be highlighted.
This potential is demonstrated in the restorative movement’s challenge to understandings of failed punitive approaches, and through its socially redemptive alternative which emphasises collective responsibility for crime amongst all of the community. The chapter will also examine the international background to restorative justice, and its theoretical understandings, with a focus on key theorists such as Strang and Braithwaite, amongst others. It will examine salient issues that underpin social justice and social control in Ireland, including the potential impacts of restorative justice policy and practice for the wider community and the state.
This study seeks to provide an exploratory analysis of the level of satisfaction of citizens and police officers who participated in police complaint mediation. The New…
This study seeks to provide an exploratory analysis of the level of satisfaction of citizens and police officers who participated in police complaint mediation. The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board's mediation program served as the case sample.
A two‐page questionnaire, of multiple choice and open‐ended questions, was sent to the sample population (N=285) of officers and complainants who either had their cases mediated or fully investigated.
Complainants who participated in mediation were significantly more satisfied with the police complaint procedure, and the NYPD as a whole, than those whose cases were fully investigated. Two major areas of research concern also emerged from the data: a need for an analysis of the cases where complainants wish to avoid face‐to‐face meetings with subject officers, and a clarification of the expectations of mediation participants.
This study's low response rate (18.2 percent) warrants caution in generalizing the findings of this study. Another limitation to this research was the cross‐sectional survey design; a pre‐post survey design would better determine whether the sample bias existed.
This research helps to inform police and civilian oversight officials of the effectiveness of police complaint mediation. In addition, this study highlights areas which merit future investigation.
This paper is the first examination of the satisfaction of police complaint mediation participants in the United States. This research is helpful for police and civilian oversight administrators considering the establishment of such a program, or those seeking the improvement of an existing one.
Cultural expertise can play a relevant role in countries where cultural diversity marks social life, as in the case of Portugal, a country where migration always…
Cultural expertise can play a relevant role in countries where cultural diversity marks social life, as in the case of Portugal, a country where migration always characterized its past and continues to influence the present, and where the presence of ethnic and religious minorities must be noticed. In this chapter, we aim to survey the use of cultural mediation in Portuguese law, as well as case law and culture centered mediation out of courts, in order to understand whether the concept of cultural expertise, in a broad sense, might be useful. Although it is a “contested concept,” culture is understood, for the purposes of this chapter, in a dynamic and non-essentialist sense, as a valuable asset providing context and significance to people’s lives. Assuming that the State is not “culturally neutral” and that its institutions somehow reflect the established culture, issues of equality and demands for cultural recognition will necessarily arise. However, it is the duty of the State to respect and protect cultural identity. Even though cultural expertise may become relevant in several domains of the State, particular attention is given in this chapter to the role played by cultural arguments and cultural expertise in courts in Portugal. Cultural expertise is also very relevant for social intervention, and it is mobilized in the processes of cultural mediation. These processes have a low level of institutionalization in Portugal, since it is not routinely recognized in the implementation of public policies as an autonomous professional profile.