Mediation, power, and cultural difference
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Conflict Resolution Quarterly
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 287–306, Spring 2003
How to Cite
Brigg, M. (2003), Mediation, power, and cultural difference. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 20: 287–306. doi: 10.1002/crq.26
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2003
In Western mediation practice, conflict and violence are typically seen as destructive and unhelpful ways of being, and this does not allow for the constitutive and productive role of conflict in many non-Western traditions. The playing out of these assumptions in mediation practice effects an operation of power that is particularly significant in intercultural mediations. Explicit and implicit mediator techniques lead disputants in intercultural mediations to behave in ways consistent with the goals of mediation and Western norms around conflict and selfhood. The specificity of this analysis means that the findings are indicative and explorative rather than comprehensive. Nevertheless, the results highlight the need to consider ways in which researchers and mediators can begin to mitigate this operation of power and respond to cultural difference in ethical ways.