Dealing with Differences: Dramas of Mediating Public Disputes

Paperback | August 20, 2009

byJohn Forester

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Conflict and dispute pervade political and policy discussions. Moreover, unequal power relations tend to heighten levels of conflict. In this context of contention, figuring out ways to accommodate others and reach solutions that are agreeable to all is a perennial challenge for activists,politicians, planners, and policymakers. John Forester is one of America's eminent scholars of progressive planning and dispute resolution in the policy arena, and in Dealing with Differences he focuses on a series of 'hard cases' - conflicts that appeared to be insoluble yet which were resolved inthe end. Forester ranges across the country - from Hawaii to Maryland to Washington State - and across issues--the environment, ethnic conflict, and HIV. Throughout, he focuses on how innovative mediators settled seemingly intractable disputes. Between pessimism masquerading as 'realism' and theunrealistic idealism that 'we can all get along,' Forester identifies the middle terrain where disputes do actually get resolved in ways that offer something for all sides. Dealing with Differences serves as an authoritative and fundamentally pragmatic pathway for anyone who has to engage in thehighly contentious worlds of planning and policymaking.

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Conflict and dispute pervade political and policy discussions. Moreover, unequal power relations tend to heighten levels of conflict. In this context of contention, figuring out ways to accommodate others and reach solutions that are agreeable to all is a perennial challenge for activists,politicians, planners, and policymakers. Joh...

John Forester is Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. A community mediator for 20 years, he has also served as Department Chair and Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell. His earlier books include The Deliberative Practitioner and Planning in the Face of Power. Using oral...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:August 20, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019538590X

ISBN - 13:9780195385908

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Discovery, Creativity and Change in the Face of ConflictPart One: When Parties Conflict, Expect That More's Possible Than Anyone Says1. Beyond Promises: Making Public Participation and Democractic Deliberation Work2. Cultivating Surprise and the Art of the Possible: Dramas of Mediating DifferencesPart Two: Respecting Value Differences and Acting Practically Together Too3. Exploring Values-based Disputes4. Dealing with Deep Value Differences in Participatory ProposingPart Three: From Venting and Posturing to Learning and Proposing5. In the Face of Deep Value Differences: Negotiating HIV/AIDS Priority-Setting6. Planning, Mediation, Participation and Posturing: What's a Facilitative Leader Do?Part Four: From Arguing to Inventing, From Presuming to Enabling Action7. Making Public Participation in Governance Work: Distinguishing and Integrating Dialogue, Debate, and negotiation8. Envisioning Possibilities: How Humor and Irony Enact Recognition, Build Power9. Conclusion: Transforming Participatory Processes: Integrating and Transcending Dialogue, Debate, and NegotiationAppendicesEndnotesBibliography